Restoration is a beautiful word! It involves healing and connecting and realigning and implies growth and deeper relationships, etc. Living in such a narcissistic time as we are now, it is essential that we explore restoration, for selfish creatures notoriously injure those around them. At the heart of restoration is forgiveness. It is easy to forgive when the other person who wronged us is repentant and asks forgiveness, even if we were hurt badly. However, there is most of the time when the other person blames you for their sin or denies it or lies to save face, whatever. Addicts are especially good at this. When people do not even seem to believe they need forgiveness, it is incredibly hard to forgive them anyway, but as followers of Christ we are commanded to do just that. We are to forgive as we want to be forgiven for as we forgive, so we will be forgiven. Ouch! Not all teachings are easy to follow. This is certainly a toughy. However, when we decide to forgive (even repeatedly in a day), we show Jesus to the world in a beautiful way and we free ourselves of responsibility for the sin of unforgiveness. We become free from thinking about the crime and its distraction. We also need to think of our own humanity. We delude ourselves if we believe we are always the innocent ones. If you find yourself blaming other people for everything, you have forgotten to walk by a mirror now and then. It is impossible that any of us is perfect and sinless, so restoration is best served with a dose of reality or objective and constructive evaluation by a friend if you are too close to the situation too see it objectively yourself. So, when you come to grips with your own morality (lol), you will find that restoration also involves asking for forgiveness. Even if you are a little to blame, even a fraction of a little, you will find that humbling yourself to seek forgiveness from the other party will most often be met with positivity (unless of course you point out their infraction at the same time). And even if you are not forgiven, you have done your duty and can rest easy knowing that,. God rewards our good deeds, especially when He is the only one who sees them. Our primary example of restoration is Christ, who restored a right relationship with us sinners through humility and sacrifice to forgive sins we commit that we take our time confessing or blame other people for. He forgave us even when we hadn’t asked Him to. And we can benefit from his generosity. Shouldn’t we be generous in return? Isn’t that a glorious representation of Christ to the world? Absolutely. Restoration involves the tearing down of the barrier through forgiveness but the the building back up the right way. This is my favorite part. The hard work is done and here now we can get creative and start again with a blank slate, more mature and wiser. We can rebuild and choose not to look back. God adores restoration, it being a major theme in His Word. It is dripping with love and home and cherishing with a dash of respect. Wow.