"a new creation"

The sermon this morning was about forgiveness and reconciliation. And these words came to mind:

Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation... (2 Cor 5.17-18)

After being disappointed or angry with what someone has done, my biggest difficulty with forgiveness is getting back to a place of trust with that person. Or hope. Hope that I can approach them again with good results, that we can be or do something good together, that we can feel like brothers again. I truly believe that's how I should be able to approach any Christian. But it's hard to feel it after repeated disappointments with a particular person.

I think this "new creation" is not just a one time thing. We have to be made new repeatedly. Every time we fall back into false, destructive ways we have to be forgiven and given a new start. I've experienced that myself, and have tried to count on God creating a new me to face the challenge of the moment, a challenge that's bigger than I can trust my past self to handle. So when I forgive someone else, I should also count on the possibility of meeting a new creation in them when I encounter them next time.

Of course, it's hard to keep up this hope with repeated rejections and disappointments. Then it feels more like waiting for a miracle. But our new creation is always a miracle, isn't it? Always a work of God. So it's God we're trusting, and loving our brother by not giving up on them.