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Why Bother With Forgiveness?

Why Bother With Forgiveness?

I don’t enjoy asking someone to forgive me. It is a humbling experience. Though I am conscientious and think about my words before I speak, there are still times when a statement I regret spills out of my mouth. When that happens, I know I will need to ask them to forgive me.

    I’m Sorry or Please Forgive Me?

I know the moment when certain words leave my mouth that I should not have said them. More than once I’ve wished I could retract a hurtful statement. But once remarks leave my mouth, there is no way to capture them back. I can’t delete them, or reverse the damage they may inflict. 

Repairing an injury from unkind words takes more than just saying, “I’m sorry.” Those words, like the tiniest Band-aid in a box, cover only miniscule wounds. Saying, “I’m sorry” is appropriate when an unintentional mishap occurs. For instance, when I accidentally step on someone’s toe, mispronounce their name, or involuntarily bump up against them, admitting my mistake with a simple apology is the right thing to do. When no lasting or deep harm takes place a saying. “I’m sorry,” suffices. 

On the other hand, when thoughtless words are said, they can cut and wound to the very core of a person. I’ve seen more than one crestfallen face as a result of something I’ve said. Other times, my words are powerful enough to cut the cord of communication all together. To repair that kind of damage I need a bigger Band-aid from the box. I need to ask their forgiveness and the sooner the better.

Because I don’t like asking anyone to forgive me for a rude or unkind remark, I will first try to justify what I said by telling myself that I was tired, that they tried my patience, or that they will forget that I even said anything. Another tactic is to ask someone else’s opinion about the situation. If they don’t think I need to ask the other person to forgive me, then maybe I don’t. But then again, I know myself too well. 

Attempting to justify my words or asking for someone’s else’s opinion, are just a ploy.  I am procrastinating about what my conscience is already telling me what I need to do.

Asking someone to forgive me does not take long. It only takes a moment or two and afterward, most people, most of the time, are quick to forgive me. Whatever unkind or rude remark I said becomes for them like water under the bridge. 

Why bother with forgiveness? It is worth it to feel humble for the brief moment it takes to ask for someone’s forgiveness, especially when it makes the relationship last longer.

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A heart's journey to forgiveness book by Terese Luikens