Posted by: rhenderson8110 | March 4, 2013

Art of ‘Amends’

Isn’t apologizing the worst?! In my short tenure of life I have learned that an apology can either douse a fire out or fan the flame. Unfortunately I have done both. I think the root of a good apology is humility- something we all need a healthy dosage of. Humility (and apologies) probably come more easily to some people than to others. Regardless, we all need to grow in this area so I put together four things I ask God to help me do when I need to apologize:

1. Show me exactly what I did and the sinful attitude behind it. When I feel hurt the last thing I want to do is to ask God what part I had to play. However, this is not only going to help resolve the argument but it is also my responsibility. I must remember that I am first and foremost a daughter of God. Then I ask that person to forgive me for these specifics, not vague generalizations. I think phrasing is key here. For example, “Will you forgive me for being overly defensive and short with you today?” will elicit a completely different response than my all time favorite, “If I did anything to bother you today, I’m sorry.” Trust me on that one. 😉
2. Remember that forgiveness is a gift I don’t ‘deserve.’ Forgiveness is always a gift, whether from God, a spouse or a friend. We should never demand it or get angry if the person isn’t immediately forgiving. It is so easy to think the other person ‘owes’ us forgiveness simply because we kind-of-sort-of acknowledged we did something wrong. True humility is taking responsibility for the wrong that we have done. It is focused on self-examination- not demanding something from the other party. Sin hurts. It hurts us and it hurts others. If I remember this I am less likely to expect the other person to immediately forgive and forget- they’re hurting!
3. Allow some time between my apology and a discussion. Sometimes this is the hardest part for me. I am direct and most of the time would rather just ‘deal’ with an issue right now. While I do believe there are biblical principles urging us to resolve issues in a timely manner timing is KEY. Sometimes if explanations follow too soon after an apology, they come across more like excuses. Also, I have found in all the wonders of womanhood that my emotions are much more level after I’ve given it some time. (which is a better situation for all involved :))
4. Recall that it does not matter if I’m not the only one that is wrong. I can’t really remember a conflict where both parties weren’t in the wrong in some way. However I use this as an excuse to continue my behavior or not offer a sincere apology. As if the other party owes me an apology first. I try to remember that God offered me reconciliation LONG before I ‘apologized’ or repented for my wrong behavior. Christ crossed the chasm that my sin caused FIRST. It is my responsibility to take the first step if I am really trying to follow Christ’s example. So next time you’re wrong…even if you aren’t the only one wrong, give the other person the gift of a sincere, heartfelt apology. I think it will make all the difference.

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