Do You Want to Be Justified or Reconciled?


This has been a particularly difficult week for us. There were a few situations/relationships that had gone…how do I put it?…sideways, and Steve and I needed to step carefully as we navigated our way through them.


I remember years ago, when situations similar to these would occur I would be motivated to find justification rather than resolution. I couldn’t see it at the time, but that’s what I was doing, and that was wrong.

You may be asking, why would that be wrong? Don’t we want justice and answers when things go sideways?

I recently heard some great council on this that I want to share.

Outside vs. Inside

As we learn and grow to walk with Jesus and be closer to Him, we have to ask the question that was popular many years ago—what would Jesus do? The answer lies with Him. Jesus was always about, what I like to call, the “outside” issues. (i.e.- “How are you? Can I pray for you? How can I serve/love you? etc…)

Our internal voice, and the enemies voice as well, is always about inside, “self” focused things. Words such as, “I”, “me”, “mine” make things all about ourselves and that’s where the need for justification is rooted. We think, “How can I make this person hurt for hurting me?” “How can I control this person?” “When do I get what I want?”

But what if the answer when things go sideways with loved ones was different than justification?

Resolution and Restoration

Just remember Jesus and the woman who was about to be stoned in John 8 (Verses 1 – 11) and the woman at the well in John 4 (4 – 26), are just two examples. Notice His motivation was always about by showing them the way to resolving their issues and restoration back into the kingdom (“Go and sin no more.”).

  • When there is tension in the air and listening has gone out the window, is your goal justification (making it all about you and what you want?) or finding resolution and restoring the relationship?
  • Are you speaking with and from the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
  • Do you have a hope and a faith for real resolution and restoration?

Jesus Did

In fact, let’s consider Good Friday and what we’ll celebrate in three days.

Instead of justification, and there’s no one more justified to be against us than Him, God chose to offer complete resolution and restoration through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son. And His Son was obedient to the same purpose.

Our goal is to be like Him. We are to strive to be “Christ-like”.

Whether you’re a parent to a child, (or the other way around), or in a marriage, or a sibling—the question is; are we living with a Christ-like manner and do we try to work things out in a Christ-like manner? Do we strive to possess all of the fruits of the Spirit, or do we just want to be right?

I never said this was easy for us. But if we are wanting intimacy with Christ and we search Him out for this, we will discover through the many examples in the bible, that this was His way. This is what the Father’s true heart is for us and that is why He sent His Son to take on our sins and die for us! He wants to bring us resolution because His ultimate goal is for our restoration back into the kingdom.

He loves us so much!

photo credit: IMG_1883 via photopin (license)