Forgiveness vs Reconciliation (they’re not the same thing)

Christmas means celebrating, but also navigating difficult family relationships. Sometimes, our desire to be “good Christians” may cause us to handle these situations in less-than-healthy ways. To that end, I wanted to clarify the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.


If you will be navigating difficult relationships this Christmas, take radically good care of yourself.

A few more things to remember:

  1. Self-care is not selfish.
  2. Other people’s happiness is not your responsibility.
  3. You do not owe anyone a timeline as to when you marry/have a baby/get a “real” job/etc.
  4. You are lovable and capable.
  5. You are a beloved child of God.

May the joy of the birth of Christ infuse every part of your life and help you love others (and yourself) even more deeply.


Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.

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