Ever think you are so right that you can’t accept someone’s apology? What if you suddenly discover that you are the one who needs to change? A few years ago I went to a ladies Bible study that stirred up some strong emotions within me about my childhood. While I tried to keep my emotions under check, apparently my demeanor had noticeably changed.
After the study I decided to go out to lunch for a “pick-me-up” with a few from this group, but as I arrived at the restaurant, one of the ladies asked me, “What happened with you? Everyone wants to know!” Stunned at the insensitivity, I didn’t know how to respond. I wasn’t ready to share my intimate feelings with others, nor was I comfortable with her remark. I was still processing these emotions – so I abruptly excused myself and left the restaurant.
I don’t know what happened afterwards, but I do know everyone saw what happened. I also know that the woman who made this faux-pas was keenly aware of how her rash questions affected me. In one way, I was glad I finally stood up for myself. As I child I never learned this skill and always felt like the helpless victim controlled by the circumstances. Not anymore – thank God!
However, immediately after lunch, this lady called me with a sincere apology. Of course, I didn’t answer her call because I was still mad, but was that the right thing to do? Doesn’t everyone make mistakes? Shouldn’t I have graciously received her call? Shouldn’t I have at least listened? She could have ignored the situation, but she didn’t. She took the time to call me, admit her mistake and ask forgiveness.
Now that I think about this, it was she who did the honorable thing – not me. She was set free by her act while I was still brooding over what happened and chose to carry that offense. So who do you think got hurt the most? The one who made the mistake? Or the one who chose not to forgive? She may have made the original mistake, but it was me who held onto it like an ugly badge of honor. Woe to me!
Everyone makes mistakes and unfortunately people get hurt. However, when we hold onto these hurts even if justfiably so, it brings destruction and death to us – not necessarily to the person who made the mistake. That’s why the Lord told me that I must remove all of the fences! That’s why the Lord wants me to walk in forgiveness. He wants me to repent and live – regardless of who made the mistake.
Ezekiel 18:31-32 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
LET US ALWAYS APPLAUD THE SINCERE APOLOGY….. move forward and live life abundantly without offense!