Keeping Short Accounts: The Ministry of Reconciliation

Honoré de Balzac's Melmoth reconciled
Keeping Short Accounts Makes the Process of Reconciliation Easier

One theme that recurs in our household is the process of reconciliation. At the end of any transaction should be the process of reconciliation. It is an accounting to completion. What I mean by that is for any transaction or interaction to come to a close, there needs to be an accounting for what is transacted (interacted) and payment or restitution made.

Today an ugly interaction occurred between two members of my household. One left for the bed room, smoldering and diverting attention by reading, the other was folding laundry, regretting and smarting from the damaging interaction. In the end, what was needed to bring them together was reconciliation. I explained to my apprentice the concept of transaction reconciliation.

I gave an example of a shop keeper and a customer reconciling accounts at the end of the month, with the items of the transaction evened out through agreed accounting and final payment. I explained that when one party is injured in a confrontation, there is payment due. That payment is confession in admission and seeking of forgiveness, which is where the reconciliation happens. I am happy to say that the transaction occurred and both reconciled to good relations immediately after our conversation.

The conversation continued around the concept of keeping short accounts with each other and God, meaning that if in the example,  the shop keeper and the customer wait to long between reconciliations, some things are forgotten and or relations are damaged and mistrust ensues. Keeping a short account of our sins with God makes it easier to keep a good relationship with Him, wherein we can hear from Him clearly through His holy spirit daily, hour by hour.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 ESV)