On Reconciling with Our Neighbor

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk 1724-1783

Look, Christian, how necessarily we must be reconciled with our neighbor. God will accept neither our repentance, nor prayers, nor anything else from us as long we have not been reconciled with our neighbor, so dear does God hold love and peace with our neighbor.

Then keep from neglecting reconciliation when you have offended your neighbor, but be reconciled to him without delay, lest you fall under the righteous wrath of God. If you have offended him in word, also be reconciled in word. Humble yourselves before him and beg forgiveness of him. If you have offended him in deed, also be reconciled in deed. Death stalks invisibly, behind us and seizes us unawares. What, then, will become of a man if he is taken without reconciliation and in enmity? He shall appear before the judgment of Christ with what he takes from this world. What is forgiven and made up now will not appear there.

Then be reconciled with your adversary, beloved, while you are yet in the way. Attend to it for this reason, Christian: you were able to offend your brother, then you should also be able to reconciled with him. But neither delay in so important a matter, nor set it aside for tomorrow, for you do not know whether you will live until the next day. God promised His mercy to us who repent, but He did not promise us tomorrow’s day. Then convince yourself, and break down the idol of pride which is in your heart, and bow down with humility before your neighbor whom you have offended. (Journeys to Heaven, Chap. 10 pp. 140-141)

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