Challenge 26: Apologize

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

Challenge 5: Make Another Attempt

Last week I challenged you to reconcile with someone. How did that go? I called (only once) the person I know has an issue with me but she didn’t call me back. Should I stop, saying “Well, I called. She didn’t call me back. Now it’s on her.” While that may be tempting, I know that’s not acceptable. Romans 12:18 says, “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone” (NLT). Making one phone call is not doing all I can to live at peace with this person. I can call again. I can email or text her, write and mail her a letter, send a gift with a note, drop by her house, invite her to dinner, cook her dinner…I think you understand what I am saying. Our world of disposal products and instantaneous food and electronic results has us disposing of people who don’t immediately (or at all) respond the way we want them to. This is not the way of love. “Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4). So as we attempt to reconcile with the one we offended or the one who offended us, let us remember what true love is and seek to show it.

Take a Risk Challenge: *Make another attempt to reconcile with the person that you may have been unsuccessful with last week. If you are capable, try one of the suggestions listed above or come up with your own. Making another attempt truly is a radical act of love.

*This challenge is not for people to place themselves back into an abusive situation. If you are in danger, you need to seek safety.

My One Thousand Gifts List

My gifts and heartfelt not from Ruth for my birthday
Justus and Nathaniel’s joy at seeing me arrive home
My husband’s touch
My cooking video featured on The Brand New Mommy blog
Not grieving over my grandfather’s death, who passed
Flynn being able to get rest even though I wasn’t able to
Clarity of thought answering interview questions for my EEW Magazine profile
Being on the radio with Pastor Brooks to discuss Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood
Tayshawn for being brave enough to call into the radio station
Selling eight books