When I’m mad…look out world. Saying I’m sorry, well that’s not fun either, of course I do apologize because it’s the right thing to do, but I don’t really like it. I wonder if anyone does. I know people who would rather loose an eye (well at least it seems like that) before saying they were wrong or apologizing. I don’t want to be like that and I know that God is working on me in this area. These days, I stop and think before doing or saying something that I’ll have to apologize for! For me, it’s becoming not as important to be right, as it is to act right.
I believe it’s a character defect, this sense of pride that sometimes gets in the way of saying I’m sorry, and we know that pride is not a good thing in God’s eyes. Check out just 2 of the many verses on pride.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Enough to make you think twice right!?
So with all that confession, I have always found apologies awkward in a particular way, I noticed it more with my children when they were young. Saying I’m sorry for an offense when you’re not really sorry, doesn’t do much for the hurt feelings of the offended person. I’m sure you’ve seen a child apologize who really doesn’t want to …it’s a short, sometimes grouchy sounding “I’m sorry” and that’s it! It’s almost like a slap in the face. And then…the standard response….”it’s ok”. I never liked that response, it’s not ok! I knew there had to be a better way to respond, so I taught them to respond differently with a “thank you for your apology” or “I forgive you”. But, something was missing…
The other day it came to me, I was reading in Psalms and thinking about the sincere remorse of David in this particular book written by him; how he sincerely and remorsefully asked for God’s forgiveness. That is what is missing in some apologies, remorse, a feeling of regret for our actions. (not always but much of the time) and asking for forgiveness. Yes, you heard right, asking the other person to forgive the action for which we are apologizing. How much more sincere the apology is when you actually ask to be forgiven for the transgression because you feel regret for hurting the person. “I forgive you” didn’t make sense because there was not a request for forgiveness.
It’s about humbling yourself … not humiliating, but humbling yourself and asking. Those two get mixed up sometimes. Humbling is not being too proud or to put it another way…getting rid of the ego and humiliating is another person attempting to disrespect or treat you without dignity. And accepting the apology…extending forgiveness…without reproach (blaming) or keeping track of transgressions that’s important too.
I wondered, what if we taught this form of apology to children when they were young? How it would affect their relationships when they grow. Then I realized…heck with the teaching the young…we should all learn this! How would it affect our relationships?
This is the perfect example of how God forgives. When we come to him with a humble heart, he doesn’t keep track of our sin. He doesn’t jot it down in his little book then bring back up at a later date to use it against us…it’s gone…never to be remembered again, as far as from the east to the west (Psalm 103:12) That’s pretty far gone right? God’s word is full of perfect examples of how He treats us and expects us to treat others but …we’re not perfect, we fall short and when we do, we can ask for and receive His forgiveness. He is our perfect example to look up to for inspiration.
Hope you enjoy your day! God Bless