Barriers to Reconciliation2017-08-03T16:27:39-05:00

Barriers to Reconciliation

As we move toward reconciliation, there can be hidden barriers in the way. God’s will is for man to reconcile and His “searchlight” (the Holy Spirit) can reveal those inner beliefs and strongholds that block it. For reasons known only to God, our hearts can be closed out of hardness and self-protection. Shown below are a few of the barriers that obviously keep people from reconciling. Will you add others to this list as you discover them?

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“A great nation does not hide its history.  It faces its flaws and corrects them.”

George W. Bush

The word has the ring of purpose to it. “Absolutely not! I won’t admit this thing you are claiming! I deny it!” And there is that…

But there is a subtler aspect to “denial.” The word is used in counseling texts and inner healing circles to describe a hidden work in the soul of man. At some level, it is probably a conscious choice, but not one that we are aware of. Things too painful, too overwhelming to process are filed away somewhere in our psyche with selective “amnesia.” The tasks and pleasures of life crowd in; the painful memories are lost in the shadows.

Denial is the enemy of Reconciliation. Yes, it helps us to function, even at a high level, in our relationships, communities, and careers. But the deep pain we have buried doesn’t go away. It’s as if we have stored gallons of toxic waste in our basements. But gradually the seals on those containers erode. The acrid evidence flows through our houses. To interpret, we have outbursts, unexpected reactions to people, strange behaviors that are the result of the toxicity we buried– consciously or not.

Truth is the foundation of Reconciliation. Until the truth about painful situations is faced, there can be no reconciliation. The truth sets us free!

Is 25: 7 speaks of a veil that has covered the earth:

And He will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.

Could this be denial? Is denial OK? Can denial be shaken off? What breaks it? Does the stuff we have denied affect future generations? How do we get the courage to face the things we have denied?

Enjoy digging into this topic through the clips we have provided—and let us know your thoughts and stories!

Refusing Denial – Rev. Delores McQuinn

Can’t you just get over it?!  African Americans are challenged with these words repeatedly regarding the history of slavery in America. But real healing comes from doing the opposite, according to Delores McQuinn,  Assembly Delegate in Virginia.  She suggests some practical answers…

Denial in a Nutshell – Samantha Richardson Epps

Samantha Richardson-Epps compares our approach to the history of slavery in America to a bandage covering a wound.  Without air and sunlight it won’t heal.  She prescribes the answer to get healing for our history….

Distorted View of Trust

Trust vs. Love – Eddie Smith

Hiding behind more looming issues, the question of “Can I trust him?” is really a central concern for many seeking reconciliation.  What if we found out that it isn’t the deal breaker we thought it was?  What if the belief that “we just can’t trust them” is only a giant shadow that keeps us from coming together in the unity God has called us to? Check out this clip and tell us what you think.



Like poison to the body, bitterness is toxic to the soul and body of a person. It is so toxic that the Scripture says “…a root of bitterness defiles many” (Hebrews 12:15). When we are caught in a root of bitterness, everything is tinged with darkness and distorted, even our countenances. Our “guard is up,” so that reconciliation with an estranged brother is impossible. We aren’t too inclined to “receive one another, as Christ also received us” (Romans 15: 7). Many diseases have been attributed to bitterness, such as arthritis and diseased gall bladders (“gall” means “a bitter fluid.”) What modern affliction comes to mind in this passage: “I walk slowly all my years because of the bitterness of my [...]

Lies From Our Culture

The constant input we receive from the media, movies, television, secular books, and our education almost guarantees that we will have accepted beliefs about life that aren’t consistent with scripture. In fact, James says, “Friendship with the world is enmity with God.” The mindset that comes from the world’s input, sometimes not even consciously held, will cause us to react to current situations in ways that are detrimental to healthy relationships and racial harmony. Just identifying those “lies” can pave the way for deeper and wider reconciliation.