The Language of Reconciliation


The Language of Reconciliation is one that must be spoken with the Accent of Peace.  Reconciliation among ethnic groups cannot be achieved unless those on all sides are willing to recognize the language spoken beyond the accent or the variables of dialect (cultural framework) in which it is spoken.

 Language is when gestures & words go together. When people use gestures to supplement our worlds, to provide a deeper understanding of what we are communicating. Language-(the primary way in which people communicate with one another) is a system of symbols that can be strung together in an infinite number of ways for the purpose of communicating abstract thought.

What may be most surprising is that many times what are viewed as differences are not. Dialectical differences of syntax or word usage can cause confusion or even conflict when it need not be. In essence people of the same language may be saying the very same thing but simply in a different way. 

In a Walgreens story on facebook the; drug store chain featured a study on how different regions refereed to carbonated soft drinks.  The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy on the internet, mapped out these various Dialectical differences of describing this one beverage. It is a good thing; stereotypes, profiling, dissention, and racism are not used in these cases of language diversity.

 In order to achieve reconciliation in face to face communication between people, “Self” should not be a means to an ends nor can it be an end unto its self. The concept of “Self” is one that is far too subjective. When attempting to bridge groups and individuals into a dialog of reconciliation

across ethnic boundaries, God’s faithfulness and His trustworthy qualities must be replicated into an atmosphere conducive to Christ’ centered Social Capital.

The Language of Reconciliation is the key in building enough of this Capital to produce real clout i.e. change; in Churches, the Workplace, Communities, and Society at large. This language chooses its’ symbols carefully and the selections of words that are used, are actually thought out. It doesn’t speak with voices of Stereotypes, racism or dissention.

 This language does not cower into a bland, homogenous depiction of a surface level reconciliation that only adds more questions than answers; nor does its’ speaking, disguise mere Political Correctness.

  ‘The value placed upon faithfulness has social implications… [It] is an important aspect of trustworthiness and hence the foundation of the trust which is essential for efficient multi -ethnic relationships.

Faithfulness of this kind also requires truthfulness and in Hebrew thought the word frequently translated ‘truth’ or ‘truthfulness’ is almost interchangeable with faithfulness. Will we tend to think of truth as being primarily concerned with propositional accuracy, Hebrew thought emphasized the requirement to be ‘true’ in character and in the relationships that one has?

The accent of Peace is formed out of the syntax of coalescence i.e. always looking for common ground and bridging any gaps along the way. God’s word further clarifies the accent of peace through simple rules of peaceful engagement in cultivating good cross cultural relationships.

“Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.”  Romans 14:1 The Message (MSG)

The cultural makeup (norms, values, sanctions, folkways and taboos etc.) of various ethnic groups can be used as transitional Phrases of thought or logic, replacing the marginalizing boundaries of dissention, therefore allowing the Language of Reconciliation to speak in the Accent of Peace.

“For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ’s table, wouldn’t it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn’t eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God’s welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.”

Romans 14:2-4 The Message (MSG)

The Accent of Peace involves respectful communication which is a unifying vehicle, to use the essence of God’s truth through his word. It is  to be relevant and empathetic between parties.

it is not compromise on God’s standards of moral and ethical character. Word choices are not be accusatory or use non respectful language. Respectful Communication is an invitation to move into deeper understanding of one another by acknowledging our differences. It is  communication that challenges it’s participants to stretch outside of their comfort zones.

The words of respectful communication does not cause participants to lose their identity but they help all parties seek to enhance their identities in peaceful unity, one to another on all sides of the ethnic/cultural chasm.

Kevin K. Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

5 Responses to “The Language of Reconciliation”
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] by “Building the Bridge Together” from all sides of the ethnic/cultural divide. Because,  “If you know me, you will know how to speak correctly to me and concerning me.”- Kevin […]

  2. […] people who are “Building the Bridge Together” over the ethnic/cultural divide and are using the language of reconciliation to make a difference. “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. […]

  3. […] Our “agents of change” are the difference makers who are not defined by ethnic origin, political affiliation, or denomination. They aren’t evangelical in name but are defined by their actions. They are nondescript people “Building the Bridge Together” over the ethnic/cultural divide and are using the language of reconciliation to make a difference. […]

  4. […] to Build the Bridge of unity in our churches and in society in general; however many times our language is anything but that of unity. This is most notable when it is spoken from the dominant ethnic […]

  5. […] this knowledge, all of us can try to do better concerning one another and how we are characterized. The Language of Reconciliation is a tool to be used to establish peace, and where there is peace there is dialog, where is dialog […]

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