There is no such thing as free reconciliation.
Whether we’re talking about repairing estranged friendships, correcting systemic abuse or redeeming human beings to the Creator, reconciliation costs.
But sometimes we approach difficult situations believing we should be able to settle everything without giving anything up, without any cost to either party. But if reconciliation were painless, then either someone did not really understand the nature of the problem and walked away still unaware of the actual need for reconciliation, or there never was much of a break in the first place.
Our primary example is, of course, Jesus Christ himself. If we ever get to thinking reconciliation is painless, we need only to look to the cross. Reconciliation–confronting the evil, the sin, the hurt, the difficulty with the express intent of naming, forgiving and overcoming it in the name of Jesus and for the sake of restoration–we measure that cost out in blood.
So when we consider our own need for reconciliation, to make things right between individuals, families, churches, ethnicities, nations–we must accept the costs associated with that reconciliation. We follow Jesus, who hung on a cross bloodied with sin so that we (and by that I mean “all of us together”) can be restored relationally. To be reconcilers in this world, we will suffer. It will cost. We will bleed.
But reconciliation is worth the cost. Just ask Jesus.