Last week a new study came out that made me roll my eyes: Not apologizing makes people feel more empowered than if they did apologize. When you don’t apologize you feel like you have control and you’re not giving that control over to the person who wronged you, the study said. And I rolled my eyes. We don’t need another study to validate our feelings, to give us a reason to be bitter and unforgiving, and to, quite simply, fulfill the lusts of our flesh. I mean, really, how many people do you know who actually desire to quickly apologize for something they did wrong? But we should. Scripture tells us if we know someone has a problem with us, we should approach the person so we can get our issue resolved (Matthew 5:23-24). Settling disputes, which are often ushered by an apology, are necessary so God forgives us and receives our worship (Matthew 6:14-15; Matthew 5:24). Many of us may not think that our apology is connected to how God treats us. We may not think about how our apology might benefit us (Hebrews 12:14-15). Scripture after scripture commands us to reconcile and some of those scriptures require that WE make an apology, but we tend to think that an apology on our part somehow gives the other person an advantage. So we don’t need some study to get us shaking our heads about being disempowered because of an apology. Sometimes that’s all we need, just one person, one study, to keep us from doing what we know is right and we are on our way to a broken relationship, a hard heart, bitterness, unforgiveness, lack of peace and health issues that can come from unchecked emotions. We can likely avoid this if we simply apologize.
Take a Risk Challenge: This week if you know you messed up with somebody, please sincerely apologize without the “If I hurt you, I’m sorry.” You know if you did something wrong and that should not be predicated on whether or not you hurt the person. Apologize for what you did and apologize for your actions being the cause of their pain. And don’t forget to ask for their forgiveness. Apologizing by taking and not transferring ownership for your wrong truly is a radical act of love.
My One Thousand Gifts List
Jax’s birthday party at Gymboree with Nate and Justus having a ball
Resting my body and my headache improving
A bird flying across my porch as I looked out the door
Cooking dinner and cleaning the kitchen after not feeling well all day
Watering my plants
The sound of sparrows dancing on gutters
Walking with the boys across open fields in the sunshine
Justus attempting to approximate Nate’s expression and do it in unison with him
Nate eating watermelon (which he really doesn’t like) because Joshua was eating it
The stealth moves of my husband and me trying to be intimate in the afternoon with my son not wanting to take a nap