As a child growing up with a father who had temper issues, “I’m sorry” was something often heard coming from his mouth in the aftermath of a tirade. He was a follower of Christ, but often times he would repeat the same offense he’d just apologized for, sometimes in a matter of minutes!
So, I grew up with the feeling that apologies were meaningless – mere ways to get ones self off the hook of guilt. I couldn’t believe that after twenty-seven years of life, it finally clicked. I’d been stuck in a dark place for a few days and my attitude towards my husband and kids confirmed it.
One night after feeling convicted again of my nastiness, I apologized to my husband. My heart broke as he rolled his eyes in skepticism. He said he didn’t buy it because I’d already apologized for those exact actions, only to repeat them. But my heart and my soul were sincere. I hated treating him like I had, and I desperately wanted his forgiveness.
I honestly wanted to be different, but I just kept slipping. Not only was that a reminder that I am in constant need of a savior, but it was also a wake up call that maybe my dad really did feel remorse during all those years of apologies. Who am I to judge the motives behind someone’s apology? It sure doesn’t feel very good when someone does that to me.
“You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
– Corinthians 3:13 (NIV)
“Father, thank You for Your awesome forgiveness. Help me to remember that others may mess up, but so do I. Give me a heart that is easy to forgive. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me, including…”