I Am Sorry, Please Forgive Me
Three things to remember about forgiveness to reconcile with the people around you.
Six words that we don't hear very often, and probably don't say often enough are "I am sorry. Please forgive me." It is hard for men to admit we blew it and even more difficult to ask another person for their forgiveness because in doing so we must first overcome our pride. The male ego doesn't like to acknowledge that we are not as good as we think we are. Becuase in our minds, we are legends.
Remember 1 | God is more concerned about our character than our ego.
A character trait of surpassing godly value is humility. In scripture, the attribute of humility is related to how we act, transact, and is a necessary ingredient of interaction with God. In Micah 6:8 we are urged to "act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." So a humble man admits their character faults to both God and others and invites humility that leads to forgiveness and reconciliation as needed. In this way, we reflect God's character to other while pride does not.
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Remember 2 | Admitting fault is the first step toward transformation.
Transformation is a curious thing because it begins with honesty. And the person we have to get honest with is ourselves. Getting honest with ourselves about our actions, words, or responses is essential if we are going to change. This level of personal awareness is often something we avoid, but we cannot ignore it if we want to reconcile with others and deepen godly character. Unless we are truthful with ourselves, our pride will keep us from the transformation that we want and need. In fact, the words "I am sorry, will you forgive me," change our intimacy with self, others, but ultimately with God. And this is where every relationship with God begins - us being truthful with ourselves.
Remember 3 | Healthy relationships depend on our willingness to make things right.
If you are married, I bet that you can recall instances when both you and your spouse got into a dispute and neither was willing to back down. Maybe for a day, a few days, or even a week. What obstructs this relational logjam? Well, it's pride. And when one of you pushes past the pride and becomes willing to back down by owning and apologizing for your mistakes, then something transformational happens. In fact, usually when one apologizes for their mistakes, sins, and failures, the other will often follow suit, and the relational tension eases. Jesus desires reconciliation above all, especially our prideful need to be right. Paul, the New Testament author, said, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves." Often when we engage in debate and disagreement, our pride says, "Value yourself above others," but Jesus says, "Value others above yourselves."
These six words are hard but powerful.
Are there people in your life that need to hear these six words from you?
Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.