I Said I’m Sorry! Forgive Me Already!
I offended someone. I hurt them in a major way. There were tears shed on account of my actions. I may have even been responsible for them being self-conscious. It was awful! True story. There is no excuse. I was wrong.
Even knowing the severity of my actions, I still rushed for their immediate forgiveness. In my mind I thought, “they need to hurry up and forgive me. I am a nice person. I made a mistake, that’s all. How dare you withhold your forgiveness from me!” My thoughts revealed I was prideful, believing that although I hurt them, they were indebted to me, and owed me instant forgiveness. As children of a merciful and forgiving Father, we are to forgive one another as the Father has forgiven us. However, for finite beings forgiveness isn’t always instantaneous. To forgive someone can be a process, and it can require time. We have to respect that.
Why do we rush people to forgive us right away when we ourselves are not always willing to immediately forgive? We hold on to hurts people have caused us for a LONG time, but as soon as we mess up we expect everyone to automatically let it go. Our expectations for others do not line up with our own extension of grace and mercy. Truthfully, not forgiving is a way we feel we can control the situation (not a good look), but we have to understand that people need time to process things. We have to be more considerate.
When you injure someone, you must be considerate of their feelings. Their feelings are real. You might not think they should be as upset or as sad as they are, but oftentimes that is because you want to make yourself feel better about yourself! Forgiveness takes time. Sometimes people will forgive you, but you will not know because they no longer want you in their lives. And no, they are not a bad person if they decide to cut ties with you. It sucks, but that’s real talk. Perhaps that’s wisdom on their part. It was wise of me to cut ties with an abusive ex. I have forgiven him, but I will not allow myself to be entangled with someone who has abusive tendencies.
Pray for those you have hurt, but don’t make yourself the victim.
Do not obsess over what you can’t control: their response to your apology.
Right your wrongs (pay back money, return something you’ve stolen, tell the truth, etc.).
Listen folks: If you have confessed your sin to the Father and truly repented, the FATHER forgives you. That’s all that matters. Walk in that forgiveness.
Be patient. Hopefully the relationship with that individual will be restored, but again that may take some time.
Maybe the relationship won’t be restored, and that’s okay too. The consequences of our actions can be hard to accept, but accept it and move forward. Do not sulk in their decision to distance themselves from you. That’s their right, and their choice. Respect it.
Either way, trust God and know that you will be all right. #EmbraceHisGrace