This might be rather basic, but resolving conflict is not the same as reconciliation. Some may think it’s just a matter of semantics or hair-splitting, but one is an attempt to stop the conflict and pain; the other is trying to grow forward together and therefore has to work to name the pain and repair its source. Conflict resolution can certainly lead to reconciliation, but requires more work, and often we stop short of the ministry of reconciliation.
In some respects, reconciliation is like forgiveness at a larger systemic scale. Some of the same rules apply: 1) acknowledge something has happened. 2) take a step back from the consequences of the action and think about the person; 3) release the anger, bitterness, and the resentment for your sake; 4) forgive the other for their sake; 5) if possible, share that you have forgiven the other; 6) let trust build back up again naturally. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we forget; it means they are free and so are we.
Reconciliation goes a step further by ensuring that a healthy relationship grows. Therefore, like the act of forgiveness, it cannot remain passive or run away from pain; it must enter pain and re-enter areas of discomfort. In order to restore, much like rehabilitating an old house, there is often a tearing away of the upper layer in order to get to a firmer foundation, a cleaner base, so that the whole house may be deemed livable for many. It is not a cease-fire. It is not a “live, and let live” mentality. Reconciliation is not always compromise although it can start there, but it desires much more. Unlike the poster above, “no war, no trouble, no more” is not enough for reconciliation. Reconciliation is only satisfied when we can truly embrace one another. Conflict resolution is only the first step in reconciliation. Reconciliation is conflict resolution all the way down to your soul.