I was contemplating something the other day. Adam and Eve. When they sinned and ate of the tree. And Yahweh disciplined them and all of His creation. Did they ever apologize? Was their true repentance for what they had done? I don’t need an answer, I was just wondering.
Two beautiful words. Two very seldom spoken words.
And it’s all in the heart. Your young child, in his training stage, can be forced to say “I’m sorry” to learn how to. And he’ll stand there with arms crossed and stomp his foot as he says it. Or a teenager can throw her arms in the air and say “I’m sorry! Ok?!” Or walking through a crowd you accidentally bump a stranger and mutter a quick “…sorry” as you rush past. Or, or you could say sorry in your head. As if that counts.
Or you could not apologize at all and assume that time will pass and heal all wounds.
But Yahweh doesn’t forget. And in your heart, you don’t forget. You try to bury your sin in false ignorance. But He is going to keep bringing it back to you because God wants to do business with you. He wants you to learn not to hurt His children. HIS children. YOUR brothers and sisters.
Let’s be honest, when somebody apologizes to you how do you want it to come across? As “hey, I don’t know what I did, but I’m sorry.” Or do you want to hear a kind of brokenness? Like “I’m so sorry. I realize that I’ve hurt you and I’m sorry that in my ignorance I placed myself above you. I know that’s not what God would want me to do. Will you please forgive me?”
And that, that is how you should apologize to others. Stop elevating yourself above everybody else. I know that’s human nature to do that. We only know ourselves and so we assume that the world revolves around us. It is so incredibly difficult to place ourselves in somebody else’s shoes. Especially if they’ve shut that relational door because of brokenness.
Apologizing is like getting a splinter. It’s painful, you know it’s there, but maybe it’ll work itself out. Nope, that didn’t work. Maybe you can poke at it with a needle. Well, now that’s painful but there’s progress. That splinter can be the pain in your foot and it won’t go away until you scrape it out. Yes, it’s painful but once it’s gone it’s like it never was even there. When you apologize you not only make right a relationship with a brother or sister in Christ but you also make right your relationship with God.
In apologizing you will be owning your sin. And that’s painful. That is not easy at all. Sinning is easy, admitting aloud that you’ve sinned and seek forgiveness, that’s a battle. A battle worth fighting. The enemy is going to shame you but DO NOT let him get a foothold. We are all sinners in need of grace. God can use your past sin to help another who is struggling. There is no sense in watching others drown in their sin when God has placed you right there beside them to encourage.
I know many of you are fighting this, please know that I am praying for you this week. Praying you will acknowledge your need to repent and the strength and courage to do it properly. And, of course, praying for forgiveness from the other party.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16 ESV)