Sunday, August 30, 2015

JOURNEY TO SISTERHOOD: Apologize, Already!!!

Something short of a miracle happened to me last week. Two sisters took me aside and apologized for possible wrongs done to me!  One, I had forgiven long ago.  The other, came as a shock, as frankly, I couldn't recall any incident or moment of discord.

I can't begin to tell you what the gesture meant to me.  I can only hope it was equally as humbling and freeing for them.  It started me thinking about the power of these two little words...I'm sorry!   Of course it needs to be sincere but is there any easier way to get on in our relationships after a misunderstanding?

Along with three other phrases: Please, Thank you, and I was wrong, we just might have the answer to World Peace! Here's what I've learned.

 First, an apology is not meant to assign blame or elicit retribution from an offending party. It's not about catching my sister friend in a vulnerable position and sadistically twisting the knife of guilt.  Giving back some of the pain I experienced.

  • IT ACKNOWLEDGES YOUR PAIN.  As a human you have feelings.  You exist as a person with God given rights and dignity.  When wounded emotionally and/or physically, the perpetrator violates both of these and depending on your vulnerability, your self worth may have suffered. 
  • IT RESTORES POWER TO THE INJURED. There are few things so devastating as to be in a position of powerlessness at the hands of another.  The loss of control and helplessness causes a fear and anxiety that's really hard to describe because it's different for everyone.
  • IT CLEARS THE WAY FOR DEEPER HEALING. I don't know a lot of women who wait around for an apology before moving on with their lives, but for a few this step is absolutely necessary.  An apology shows that there is remorse and may even allow for an explanation. The more details you have about the nature of an offense, the more you can learn from it and avoid the negativity that caused it.
  • IT COULD FACILITATE RECONCILIATION. I'm sorry will not fix every problem or heal every wound, but sometimes it is the beginning of the process that restores a relationship.  We must never underestimate the impact wounding has on us and others.  The collateral damage that occurs could take hours of prayer and spiritual counseling to help us become whole again.  Still, even if you never regain the warm and fuzzy you once had for a sister friend; the Grace of God will enable you to resume a cordial, even pleasant association honoring Him and the past you once shared.  Just ask the Lord to show you how!
Galatians 6:10 is a wonderful reminder:

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

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