No one is perfect. Which means no matter how good of friends you are, how highly you think of someone, or how much you love another person, conflict is inevitable. You will disagree with each other about something (probably more than one thing)! In those moments when conflict rears its ugly head, and the relationship is fractured or broken, you’re left with a choice. You can let it lie in ruins or you can pursue reconciliation.
Here’s the difficult part. You may desire that resolution. You may do everything you can to reconcile with that person and repair that relationship. And they won’t accept. They’ll feel too much hurt to think they can forgive now. They won’t think they’ve done anything wrong and have no reason to apologize. They’ll think you’re being disingenuous. And so you’re left without resolution. You might feel that you’ve failed, but you haven’t.
See, God doesn’t call us to force that reconciliation to happen. But he does call us to do everything we can. Matthew 18:15-18 says:
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Not that God doesn’t say that you’ve failed if reconciliation isn’t reached. He just calls you to do everything you can. That can be difficult, whether you’re the offender or the one who’s been offended. You might be in a situation where you’re not sure there can be reconciliation. You worry that no matter what you do, the situation cannot be resolved.
God says to go anyway. Don’t ignore the situation and hope it’ll go away because you don’t see how it can end well. God sees more than you and I ever can. And He can bring healing where it’s needed. Hopefully it’s healing in that relationship. But even if it’s only healing for your unresolved hurt, trust God through it. He hasn’t called you to fix it, just to follow Him.