Chad and Keith discuss the importance of seeking reconciliation of broken relationships by asking forgiveness for our faults and practical steps to do so effectively.
Intro (Keith): Welcome to the Kanakuk Institute Podcast, where we continue to equip leaders with biblical skills for a lifetime of ministry.
Chad (00:13): And welcome back into the Kanakuk Institute Podcast. Excited to be back with you. Keith Chancey with me, as always, and, we’re excited to talk about a topic in a passage that are familiar to all of us, but something that is important, Keith, to be constantly reminded of. The topic of forgiveness. Why this topic this time Keith?
Keith (00:37): You know, Chad, one of the things that I am so impressed with all the time is how many people love to say, “I’m sorry.” About something that happened, but they don’t ask for forgiveness. And so, you know, just saying I’m sorry. Sometimes it just kind of pacifies you for the moment, but it doesn’t really resolve the issue. And so you know, being at camp, one of the things we keep hearing over and over and over again is these kids are having a hard time understanding forgiveness because nobody is asking for forgiveness. Everybody’s just talking about, you know, “Hey I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” But they’re not being specific about what they’re sorry for. And that what’s forgiveness is, Chad, and I really think it’s an area that we need to really address, because in today’s world, it seems like even as a parent, I’ll say to my kid, “I’m sorry.” But my kids don’t really know what I’m sorry for, because I’m a little bit embarrassed by what I might be sorry for, and so I don’t say it, I just pacify the word, “I’m sorry.” And that, you need to know and read my mind of what I’m sorry for, and so I think this is an issue that I think is very helpful for me. You know, I really love to study forgiveness and looking at what the Word says about that, and how that we can minister that more into our own life, because if I’m living out forgiveness, I think other people will also understand what forgiveness really is.
Chad (01:54): So, the passage you kind of have shared that you’re wrestling through, and we’re going to talk through today is 2 Corinthians chapter 5.
Keith (02:00): Yeah
Chad (02:01): Starting in verse
Keith (02:02): Seventeen
Chad (02:03): Seventeen. Give us a little bit of context surrounding how we got to this place in the book before we jump in.
Keith (02:10): You know, it’s really interesting because, you know, Paul does such a great job to the Corinthian church, the church of Corinth is going through, they’re just following a lot of wrong doctrinal things. And so, as they’re, you know, just trying to, whether follow Zeus, or Apollos. They’re following so many wrong error theology, that all of a sudden, he says, “Hey, I think you guys need to understand something here in 2 Corinthians 5:17. If anyone’s in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, behold, the new has come.” You know Chad, that’s so important to me because I don’t think I can understand forgiveness if I don’t understand the one that gave me forgiveness. If I’m in Christ, I’m a new creation. Everything that was old in my life is gone. I’m a brand new creation, freed from my sin by the blood of Jesus Christ. And so, understanding redemption, the blood of Christ, that his blood was shed for me on the cross, and that he loves everybody, you kind of bring in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him.” And what is it that we believe about him? Is that he was the son of God, that he died for our sins, that he rose from the grave, and his blood was the sacrifice that was significant for us to be forgiven of our sins. So as I see this I go, “Wow, thank you for making me a new creation. And thank you now as I look to this next verse, verse 18.” It’s so good because, you know, once again, Paul has let us know that we’re a new creation, but now he’s going to tell us about a ministry. And he’s going to say that we have all this is from God, meaning that we are new creations who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. The word reconciliation means that we are reconciled unto. That God has done something that nobody else could have done. He brought us into freedom through the blood of Christ, and that we’ve entered into this new ministry called the ministry of reconciliation, freedom that I am no longer bound to this sin. The wage of my sin is no longer death, but I’ve been freed. Yay God.
Chad (04:25): So, and correct me if I’m wrong Keith, but that term reconciliation really was like a banker’s term that where somebody’s account was made right. Talk through that and how our account was made right with Christ, and then the fruit of that, how do we make accounts right with others?
Keith (04:42): Well, you know, when I make an account right. If I owed you some money, and I say, “Chad I owe you 10 bucks,” but I say, “You know, what I don’t really have 10, let me give you 5.” I haven’t really reconciled that.
Chad (04:54): Maybe caused more issues.
Keith (04:56): You’re gonna go, “Chancey, why didn’t you pay me the full amount that you owe me?” And I think that’s what sometimes we think we’ve been reconciled that we pay our part, “Oh God, I gave you, you know I asked. I’m sorry for what I’ve done.” And God says, “What did you do?” And what I need to say is, “I have lied, I have stolen,” and I need to be very specific with what I have done. Because what he did is he paid my debt, so what I owed him was my life. I owed him everything. And he instead of making me pay my everything of my life, he took his life and he died on the cross, his blood was shed for my sins, and he resurrected from the grave and he offered to me salvation because he paid my debt. My debt was 100% erased, I was 100% paid in full, and now what I have is I have freedom. What a great picture that is to me, is that that price was paid by the only payment that could have been paid that would have been sufficient. It was his blood. The son Jesus Christ had to die for my sins. And because of that, I was reconciled unto him through what he did on the cross.”
Chad (06:12): That’s good. So, let’s get into a couple little like, tactics. Like, I’ve got a broken relationship, need to get into like the actual forgiveness act. First let’s talk about the person that’s asking for forgiveness. Why do you think it’s so important for them to actually name, like, “Hey, here’s what I need.” Instead of saying just like, “Keith, I’m sorry” I didn’t even say I owed you 10 dollars. I just said, “I’m sorry.” Why do you think it’s so important from a personal responsibility standpoint for me to go, “Keith, I’m so sorry. I owe you 10 dollars; I didn’t give it back.” Like, what does that do for the person in really owning that?
Keith (06:49): When I own my sin, there’s two things that happen. Number 1, I’m freed. I’m freed that I told you, Chad, I know I borrowed 10 dollars, I didn’t pay you back, will you please forgive me that I have taken so long to pay you back.” 1 I’ve owned my responsibility, and my, I’ve been delinquent. I haven’t done what I told you I’d do. What sometimes we do is, we just try to avoid that I’ve done anything wrong, and so the next time I see you, you know, “Hey, what’s up.” You know, “Chad how are you?” Yeah, it’s all good, and yet we never delt with the issue. And so, what I need to do is I need to address the elephant in the room. I owe you 10 dollars, and I’m so sorry that I have been delinquent in paying that, let me tell you why. I, you know, I got released from my job, I wasn’t able to do it. Will you forgive me? Some of those were out of my control, but even though they were out of my control, I should have come to you and asked for your forgiveness that I’m not going to be able to pay.
Chad (07:48): That’s good. That’s good and there’s something about like the freedom of knowing you don’t have something in the back of your mind when you go see that person that you’re like, “Oh no, I just ran into Keith at Walmart, I don’t want to go say hi, I owe him 10 dollars.” And I know that’s a silly illustration, but there’s like this weight of the broken relationship.
Keith (08:09): There always is going to be that weight, and that fear when I see that person. I know what they’re thinking, so I’ve got to be very good at redirecting. You know, I have to be able to go, “Hey Chad, what’s up? How’s your family?” And so, I’ve got to become artful in getting the attention off of the elephant in the room. I have been delinquent.
Chad (08:31): Which really is no relationship at all then, right?
Keith (08:32): It’s no relationship.
Chad (08:33): You’re essentially broken the relationship, and now it’s a fake relationship, because I don’t want to talk.
Keith (08:38): It’s become so fake and which is exactly where so many kids that come to camp and even within kids that are doing the institute, and I’m sure a lot of you out there in today’s audience. You’ve gone through this. You go, What I wish I would have done, is I wish I would have said to my Mom and Dad, I would have said, “I’m so sorry that when I was 16 years old, I stole the car, did this, did that.” But what we do is we just say, “I’m sorry I did something,” but we don’t say what. And the freedom comes from addressing specifically what I’ve done. Let me tell you what I’ve done, and Chad, will you forgive me for what I’ve done? And allow you the freedom to say yes or no, you do or don’t. You see because I can’t control how you respond to that. Because really asking forgiveness is really, it is for you, but it’s more for me. Because if I can’t be reconciled to God through saying “God I’m sorry,” then I’m never going to be reconciled unto you. So that’s the first part that’s very, very important that I own my part, and then I release you too. Because you’re kind of angry at me too. So it’s a two part thing. One is I’m releasing myself. Two, I’m releasing you. You know because I said you Chad. “Will you forgive me?” And you go, “Chancey, thank you so much for saying that because I have for the last week been irritated at you because you didn’t do your part.”
Chad (09:55): So, I think we’ve probably all been in a scenario where, “hey Keith, I’m sorry, will you forgive me.” And then the response on the other end from the other person is not what you’d hoped for. What, like, just practical wisdom would you have for when you do your steps right, and the relationship is still broken?
Keith (10:15): Yeah, and you know what, part of that is I can’t fix something that I can’t fix. I have to be willing to give that to God. So first, what I’m going to do is I’m going to pray. “God, I know I’m at odds with Chad, I know that I haven’t done my part. I need to tell him what I’ve done, and I need to ask his forgiveness.” And when I do that, I’m now released from that pain that I feel. I can’t say what you’re going to do. You don’t have to forgive me. Because, you may have some things that you still have against me. But at that moment, I’ve set myself up to hear what you’d like to say. But if I’m willing to go all the way. And I’m not saying 98%, I’m saying 100% to say, “Will you forgive me? I lied, I didn’t pay you back, I didn’t do what I said I would do. Will you forgive me?” And if I’ll go all the way, “And I’m sorry I hurt your heart, I’m sorry your son thinks that I’m a bad person too. Is there anything that you want me to do to clarify this situation?” And when I do that, I can’t be responsible after that for what you do. Because I’m responsible for me, and before the Lord, I do what was right. And that is called the ministry of reconciliation. I have done my part. I can’t fix you, but I now give you time, but in my time that I give to you, I say, “Chad, I know this may be hard for you to forgive me for what I’ve done.” Maybe it’s that I’ve said something about you, I’ve slandered, I’ve done something, said something about your daughter, and you go to me, “Chancey, this is going to take me a little bit of time to process this through.” I give you all the time that you need. I’m not going to ask you that this needs to be fixed immediately. I’m going to ask you to take the time, because if our relationship is important, we want it to be made right, because it's been reconciled rightly.
Chad (12:04): Yeah, that’s good. Would you say a good indicator of our heart position would be if I came to you and apologize for something, you don’t respond the way that I want. Now I’m frustrated. Would you say that’s a pretty good indicator that I’m really not understanding what Forgiveness is about?
Keith (12:21): Yeah, and I think on both parts, you know, that one, I probably didn’t do it right. And you know, we’re just such poor communicators. We haven’t been taught really how to most effectively communicate. If I really do love you and really do want this relationship to work, I need to be willing to say, “I really am sorry for what I’ve done. Will you forgive me?” And now, if you really do want to enter back into my relationship with me, you’ll say, “Chancey, I do want to forgive you, but here’s the damage that was done.” And so, if we can talk in those types of terms where we’re going, we really are reconciling.
Chad (12:58): Yeah, restoring.
Keith (12:59): Yeah, restoring the relationship, and I love that’s where Galatians 6:1 tells us, you know, that we, the word restore there in Galatians 6:1, is the word, literally, a bone put back in place. That we want to place back rightly a relationship that has bee broken.
Chad (13:16): So it can heal right.
Keith (13:17): So it can heal right.
Chad (13:18): Just like a bone, right?
Keith (13:20): Yes, you wouldn’t if I jumped off this table and landed on my ankle, and my leg compound fractured into the floor, and you just grabbed me and said, “Hey Chancey, it’s going to be okay.” That would not be good at all. But what you would do is you would lay me down, and you’d make sure I’m ok, you’d put a tourniquet on, you’d do everything you could with a gentle spirit. You would absolutely make sure I’m ok. And I think that’s what we don’t do sometimes, Chad, is that we don’t really place a value on the person, and what we do is now, we want bad and evil to happen to the person that has done us wrong.
Chad (13:53): Yeah, and we’re so consumed with winning the conversation, the situation, that we’re actually breaking the relationship, right? There is no relationship. It’s broken. But I won.
Keith (14:04): Yeah, you think you won.
Chad (14:05): Yeah, and that can happen in marriage, that can happen in any relationship, and all of a sudden in my mind, “O, I proved my point, I got justice,” whatever it is. And actually, we’re actually hurting ourselves, the friendship, and those around us, because we’re not actually reconciling as God told us.
Keith (14:24): That’s so true because, you know, just taking what you just said about my wife. My wife when I say, “I’m sorry.” She has a great reply to that. She says, “I know you are.” And that is funny because she’s saying, I know you’re sorry, what are you sorry for? Because when I say things like, “I’m sorry.” I’ m doing her no good. She wants to hear me say, “Sweetie will you forgive me for being late for dinner, because when I’m late, I know I didn’t place a value upon you. I made you sacrifice your time, your energy, your effort to get this food ready. And I treated you with disrespect by not being here on time like I told you I would. Will you please forgive me that I put others before you, and I shouldn’t have?” When I do that, Oh, she kisses my face, and it’s all good, and it’s a wonderful deal, but when I don’t do that. We sit down to eat, and I can tell. She’s like a flower that withers. And her little shoulders slump, and she’s going, “My husband is sorry. He doesn’t care. He hurts me. He doesn’t assume any personal responsibility.” And we become further and further and further separated.” Isn’t that interesting?
Chad (15:41): So let’s recap for the listening audience, let me make sure I got them right. One, we’re going to say I’m sorry. Two, we’re going to go beyond that and ask specifically for forgiveness and not just forgiveness, but forgiveness for a specific action, and ask the other person to actually set us free from the brokenness in the relationship.
Keith (16:02): And Chad, even within that, when we ask for that forgiveness to be set free, we need to say, “Is there anything more that I’ve done that I need to ask your forgiveness for?”
Chad (16:12): So then the third one would be ask the extra step, like is there anything else that’s broken, and then fourthly, we’ve got to be careful that we’re not going in with false expectations, that we’re going to be best friends, or the goal is to reset the bone, as you used the illustration. We’re going to reset the bone, and we’re going to allow healing to begin. That’s only the beginning, it’s not the end.
Keith (16:36): I think there’s three things that we need to conclude with today. Number 1 is that when there is a broken relationship, that what I need to do as the one that, you know, I’ve hurt you.
Chad (16:49): You’re the offender.
Keith (16:50): I’m the offender. You know, I need to allow you to relinquish the right to get even. And the way I relinquish the right to be even is that I say, “Is there anything that I’ve done that has hurt you, that I can do to make it right with you?” Because what happens right there is that you have an expectation of what I need to do, and if I don’t do it, you’re angry at me. And so I have to give you the freedom to say, “Release me unto the Lord.” You know? Let the Lord do what the Lord’s going to do. But don’t you try to do it. Because our goal is always to right relationships. It’s always. It's never to hold someone in hostage. So, when we see the ministry of reconciliation, it is always 100% that’s what Jesus did on the cross, he relinquished his right, he didn’t have to die, but he did die, I know that’s a theological issue we’ll look at, but he did what only he could do, because he love me so much. Wow, thank you God, and secondly. That we need to respond to evil with good. So often what we on the hurt side want to do is we want to go tell other people what you’ve done, and we want to now bombard you with this evil hatred of, “you angered me, you…”
Chad (18:04): Yeah, get some form of justice, right?
Keith (18:08): And so we don’t give that to the Lord, we take matters into our own hands, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to make our situation right according to me. “Yes I’m right.” And so, like, for instance with my wife, I’ve never won an argument, because my goal is not to win. My goal is to reconcile. And when you reconcile, it’s totally different than winning. Because whenever I’ve won an argument, I’ve never won the battle. All I’ve done is separate her from me, which is the same thing in our relationship with God. You say, “God will you forgive me from my lie, from my lust, from whatever it is that has separated me from you and thank you for what you’ve done.” And so that, and then what I do thirdly, is I repeat the first two things again. I relinquish my right to get even, and I respond to evil with good. If I do those two things over and over again, relinquish my rights to get even, and respond to evil with good, and I keep repeating that over and over again, I’m usually going to do pretty good in the reconciliation.
Chad (19:06): That’s good, and so practical, right? Just practical way for us to close, and, we know even as we’re having this discussion, that there are folks that are listening that have broken relationship. I think our encouragement would be today is, stop the podcast, pray right now, and ask God what he would have you do to right that relationship. Take these practical steps, but don’t wait another day where you’ll regret not making a relationship right. We have been made right with God, and therefore, we want to right the relationships he’s entrusted to us.
Keith (19:43) The ministry of reconciliation is a great place to be.
Chad (19:45): That’s good. Well, we thank you guys for joining us on the Kanakuk Institute Podcast, we’ll join you next time. Until then, thanks so much.