"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I’ve been thinking about a few things about apologies lately, questions really. Our teacher at bible study brought it up last week, which of course fit in some of what I had been thinking about the day before while preparing for the lesson.
We have come to see apologies as a punishment. Why? For most of us, when we hit our sister on the head, we had to go and apologize. Like it was the worst thing in the world we had to do. Not only did I get a spank, but I HAD to apologize too…
In our Christianize we talk about the apology not being for the other person, it’s for us and our relationship with God. That’s true. And of course we do it because (usually) we want to restore the relationship we had with the other person as well. But what if we don’t? What if there just isn’t a possibility of a relationship anymore? What if the other person (you think?) doesn’t want anything to do with you? What if your old news to them and your apology won’t do anything (to edify) for them? It would be good for you to repent and confess and be right with God, but as to the other person… they’ve moved on. But can you really judge that? Do you bring it up or just keep it between you and God? You know that the other person doesn’t feel their relationship is affected. BUT, they do know you have something against them, they aren’t doing anything about it either. Then that is their own sin to deal with?
How do you know when the time is right, if ever, to do anything? How do you know if it will just make things worse?
How do you know how specific an apology needs to be?
How do you go into an apology NOT expecting something back from the other party? An admission of one of their own faults in the matter for example.
How do you go into an apology without the hidden agenda of wanting to let them know how badly they hurt you (and that may be one of the reasons you did what you did)? Do they need to understand how much they hurt you?
What if you can’t go into any apology with love (for the other person anyway)? Is an apology out of obedience and brokenness to God’s word just as good?
Why are apologies SO HARD? Why do we MAKE them so hard? How can an apology bring up this many questions or scenarios? Should it? Do we just do it to ourselves?
An apology is to bring glory to God. You’ve admitted to yourself, then to God, that what you did was wrong in some way. Why is it so hard to admit it to someone else? PRIDE. You don’t want the other person to think they were right. But you can’t control that. That’s not what it is about.


Ben Mackey said...

That's 100% right and teaching our kids these things will help them... they'll see! :) My favorite is "Dad, she didn't mean it when she said 'SORRY!' to me."

Leroy and Kari Huizenga said...

Forgiveness is not an easy process. It has stages. The person who wronged must be willing to acknowledge he or she hurt someone by it, accept the punishment, and have the will to make restitution to the one wronged. Gregory L. Jones states that "the purpose of forgiveness is the restoration of communion, the reconciliation or brokenness." To forgive without the repentance of the offender offers "cheap grace." We can wish good to those who have wronged us, but without them repenting, we can't really forgive. Sometimes we offer forgiveness so quickly, without repentance, because we want to avoid confrontation, etc. God forgives us when we repent. We forgive others when they repent because God has forgiven us. The criminal on the cross acknowledged that he was there because of his sins. He repented. Christ said he would be with him today in paradise. I've just been thinking alot about forgiveness during this Lenten season and these are some of the reflections from the readings I've been doing.