Hitchhiker’s Guide to Reconciliation


Forgiveness is a topic I’ve been exploring a great deal lately — both individually and as part of various communities — as I believe it is an essential precondition for transformation. Here’s a talk I gave way back during my graduate years at Caltech; the key insight (which I’ve since learned is fairly common, though widely misunderstood) is the distinction between Apologies, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation.

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Reconciliation
CCF Large Group Meeting
Tuesday, November 20th, 1992, 7:30 PM
Ernest N. Prabhakar, S.B. MIT ’88

A. Introduction

B. Principles of Reconciliation

  1. Reconciliation is a Priority
  2. Reconciliation has a Price
  3. Reconcilation is Possible
  4. Reconciliation requires Participation

C. Path of Reconciliation (Matthew 18:15-35)

  1. Raising Awareness

  2. Releasing Pain (Luke 15:18-24)

    • Apologize (Psalm 32:1-5)
    • Affirm the person and the relationship
    • Be open to change
    • Commit to working things out
    • Acceptance
  3. Removing Damage

  4. Restoring Trust

D. Partial Reconciliation

  1. Stopping Early
  2. Skipping Steps
  3. Spacing Out
  4. Solo Flying
  5. Submitting (Luke 6:27-29)

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