Why Can’t We Be Friends?

As I typed the title, the song started in my head. I apologize if it’s now lodged in yours.

The Apostle Paul, in his second letter to the church in Corinth, reminds us that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation.  Some may view this ministry as evangelistic, or some may see it as social justice. I see it as both.

I don’t think you can separate the love of Jesus from social justice and actually achieve justice (hence our current legal system). I also don’t think you can divorce social justice from the love of Jesus and be talking about the Jesus in the New Testament. But I digress.

The definition of reconciliation is to take two things that were formally alienated, and to restore them, or mend them.

This is where things get tricky.

In order for reconciliation to occur both sides have to take responsibility for their part in the fracture, regardless if responsibility is weighted towards one side.

If both or only one side holds onto the right  (claim) of being right (correct) then reconciliation will not happen. You may stand resolute in your rightness, but you will stand alone.

This does not mean you should abdicate your viewpoint or beliefs. It simply means you recognize there may be a difference of opinion, or perception, but that the difference is not as important as the relationship.

Does reconciliation mean you’ll be best friends? Possibly. Resolving conflict can make a relationship stronger. Marriage is a great incubator for resolving conflict.

Sometimes you may reconcile a relationship but come to the conclusion you’re better acquaintances than friends. This is not a failure.

You may have to establish a boundary with a friend or family member so that you can maintain the relationship. This may take the form of limiting communication to phone calls or personal interaction, and eliminating texting or emails, or vice versa.

One way or another, reconciliation will change things, and in ways you may not expect.