Don’t Say I’m Sorry

In many of our families (and friendships) an unhealthy, unbiblical pattern has taken root. We don’t do “sorry” well. In fact, we rarely do it at all. Mostly we just fumble our way through. It usually plays out something like this:She gets hurt or offended and expresses pain or anger.He says “Sorry!” – blurts it out, really, like claiming the front seat in his parent’s car when he was a kid. If she feels the offense was significant, she pushes harder, adding a personal barb beginning with, “Why do you always…”If she’s mostly just irritated, she’ll shrug it off with an “It’s OK” or a “Don’t worry about it.” What’s the problem?He doesn’t feel forgiven.She doesn’t feel understood. This is a not a healing pattern. And it’s not a Christian one, either. This week, when offenses happen, try intentionally working through these steps. (And, while you’re at it, read 2 Corinthians 7:10 as the biblical basis for a healthier pattern).1. When offended, tell the person why what they did hurt you. Or, if you, yourself, don’t understand why, then honestly and fully express how you feel. Like this (parent to child or spouse to spouse acting like a child): When you continue to play your game after I’ve asked for your help, I feel disrespected, unimportant, and unloved. 2. If you’ve offended, don’t just blurt out “Sorry!” Instead: a. express understanding: I see how I just made you feel totally ignored. b. experience sorrow by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Make the effort to imagine how your actions felt to the other person. c. express sorrow: It pains me to realize that my carelessness or selfishness made you feel unloved. I’m sorry I hurt you. d. request forgiveness: Will you forgive me?3. Now it’s time to let go of the offense. Don’t say “It’s OK” because it wasn’t. Acknowledge the reality of your pain and make the real choice to follow Jesus: say the words as sincerely as you can: I forgive you. Our families will be healthier and holier if we can replace a shallow, brushing-aside of hurts with a more thoughtful, more intentional, more Christlike pattern of reconciliation.
Source: New feed

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