Welcome to Day 7 of our #GodlyAdventure. Glean wisdom on how to apologize in this post by Nicole Kauffman.
Do you remember being a child and having your parents force you to apologize to a friend or sibling? I can clearly remember the, “Tell your sister you’re sorry.” And my angry response through gritted teeth, “I’m sorry.”
Of course, this satisfied some of the anger or hurt my sister had, but it still left us at odds. The reason being that it wasn’t genuine. I wasn’t truly sorry. I just needed to appease my mother.
But as we got older, we learned that apologies needed more than forced words through gritted teeth. They needed to be genuine.
As teenagers and adults, after angering a friend, an apology needed follow through. You couldn’t just forcefully say you’re sorry without making a change. You needed something more than the words.
Learning to apologize is something we do over the course of our lives. But it can be so easy to miss out on what God has for us in these apologies. God requires us to reconcile with our brothers and sisters in order to be in right relationship with Him.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 NIV
When we have something between us and another brother or sister, our hearts will not be in right place to come before God. When we hold onto these things, we not only place a stumbling block in others lives, but we place a barrier between our own hearts and God’s.
So how do you walk with God when you need to apologize?
In order to truly apologize, we have to accept that we have wronged another. This takes immense humility.
If you’re working towards an apology, I would encourage you to first ask God to lead you towards humility. You’re going to need it every step of the way!
God rewards the humble, so don’t be afraid of the sacrifice of humility.
Humility is a powerful thing. When we choose to submit to the Lord in all we do and to surrender every part of our lives to Him, we will be rewarded.
As you consider apologizing, consider humility. It will take you a long way.
Quit Any Excuses
A few years ago I came across this quote:
Never ruin an apology with an excuse. —Benjamin Franklin
Once I heard it, I realized how every apology I gave was followed with an excuse. This is the opposite of humility!
I’m sorry for hurting you, I just really had a long day and wasn’t watching my words.
I’m sorry for not understanding, I’m just really upset myself.
I’m sorry for going behind your back, I was just afraid of what you would say.
The list goes on and on.
When we follow an apology up with an excuse, we are turning the blame around to the other person or to something else. It completely ruins the apology itself!
Ever since, I’ve strived to stay aware and to keep my apologies free from excuses. It’s hard because we innately want to find a way to explain ourselves. But sometimes, it’s okay to just be sorry.Find out how not to ruin an apology. @nicoleakauffman #GodlyAdventure #BloggerVoicesNetwork
Making a Change
Instead of following your apology up with an excuse, try coming up with something you can do differently next time.
If it was your words that hurt someone, share how you will be more careful with them.
If it is your lack of intentionality, share how you will work on becoming more intentional.
It is powerful to be truly sorry and to then take action to make your wrong actions right.
It’s important to allow the person you’ve hurt time to forgive and to move on. So sometimes, you won’t need to voice the change you are going to make.
It’s helpful just to come up with the change you’ll work towards and to share it with someone for accountability.
When we have to apologize it’s easy to hide within our pride and fear. But God calls us to something greater.When we have to apologize it is easy to hide within our pride and fear. But God calls us to something greater. @nicoleakauffman #GodlyAdventure #BloggerVoicesNetwork
He calls us to powerful reconciliation that not only helps our brothers and sisters find healing, but moves us toward right relationship with Him.
How have you learned to walk with God when you need to apologize?
Nicole Kauffman is a wife, blogger and passionate follower of Christ. Her blog, Courage. Hope. Love. was founded to encourage, inspire and guide Christians to deeper hope and joy in the Lord. She isn’t afraid to get real about suffering and help her readers find lasting hope. Nicole lives in Pennsylvania with her God-seeking husband and family. She is an aspiring author who loves to grow relationships, mentor and explore the beauty of God’s creation all around.
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