There can be no reconciliation without true repentance. True repentance may not result in reconciliation, but true repentance does whatever is necessary to attempt reconciliation.True repentance is characterized by remorse for the hurtful effect caused another.
Repentance requires honesty with ourselves, God, and others along with the choice to correct our ways. F. B. Meyer wrote:
“Confession should not be made to God alone, when sins are in question which have injured and alienated others. If our brother has aught against us, we must find him out, while our gift is left unpresented at the altar, and first be reconciled to him. We must write the letter, or speak the word; we must make honorable reparation and amends.”
“Bring forth, therefore, fruit worthy of repentance,’ said John, with some indignation, as he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism. He insisted that practical and vital religion was not a rule, but a life; not outward ritual, but a principle; not works, but fruit — and he demanded that the genuineness of repentance should be attested by appropriate fruit. ‘Do men gather grapes of thorns, and figs of thistles?’ . . . You will never get right with God till you are right with man. It is not enough to confess wrongdoing; you must be prepared to make amends so far as lies in your power. Sin is not a light thing, and it must be dealt with, root and branch.”