Is it easy to say 'I am sorry?" Some may say yes, others may think otherwise. However the point I am making is that it is easy to say "I am sorry" rather than asking, "Will you forgive me?" I have been thinking much about this lately as it seems there have been some strains in relationships lately with family and friends.
Strains and struggles in relationships are not bad in themselves. But it is in how we react and handle those conflicts that determine whether our relationships are strengthened or weakened.
The greatest tool we have in strengthening our most treasured connections with others is humility. Sometimes it seems to take alot less humility to say I am sorry rather than asking one's forgiveness.
Last summer John and I help to facilitate a parenting class called Growing Kids God's Way. There was so much valuable and biblical information offered. However the one area which stood out the most to me was the teaching on repentance, forgiveness, and restoration. These truths have really been surfacing in my heart and mind lately. I would like to share some of the teaching from Let the Children Come by Ezzo and Ezzo.
-Understanding and encouraging repentance in the context of family relationships is one of the cornerstones of the family.
-Repentance begins with the offender.
-Forgiveness is a process requiring agreement between two parties.There can be repentance without forgiveness and there can be forgiveness without repentance. In order for restoration and strengthening in relationships there has to be the reception of both from the offender and the offended.
-Restoration is always the final objective. Often a child will cry and say I am sorry, but that is not enough. Our children need to be restored to us in a right relationship. Restoring the relationship closes the offense and buries it.
Now what was the point about it being easy to say I am sorry? Asking for forgiveness as opposed to saying I am sorry is an act of humility. When I say, "I am sorry", I am dictating the conditions of my apology. Asking for forgiveness is different. To say I am sorry acknowledges a mistake such a breaking something that belongs to someone else, or accidentally stepping on some one's toe. However, to ask, "Will you forgive me?" is to acknowledge the motives of the heart.
These truths are not new to any of us, but sometimes seems to be the most difficult truth to live by. Humility and a quick willingness to repent and ask forgiveness is an open door to the largest meassures of God's grace and favor. Let us each day humble ourselves in God's sight that we may stay pure and strong in our fellowship with Him and loved ones in our lives.
James 4:6 But He gives more grace. therefore He says, " God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.