“I’m sorry! Will you please forgive me?” are extremely powerful words. Those seven words are so powerful that they can be the start of mending and healing broken relationships.
I can remember the first time I was listening to 18 hours of parenting tapes entitled, “Growing Kids God’s Way”. One tape in particular talked about forgiveness, humility, and the sinful nature of man. The speaker, Gary Ezzo, talked about the significance of these seven words and the actions that should follow them. He talked about modeling this for our children.
Parents are imperfect people. We are wrong at times. When we as parents are wrong and make mistakes, we should go to our children and apologize and say we were wrong. It is a very important thing to do as a parent and, actually, a very POWERFUL THING in relationship building and communication!
Gary Ezzo continued to teach that most adults/parents tend to think that admitting to being wrong would be giving into our kids and their whims. Thinking it would give them more reason not to listen to us as parents. He pointed out how kids are smart and they model what we do. If we are never willing to admit our mistakes to our kids and apologize to them, then we are teaching and modeling PRIDE and a real lack of humility.
We could end up raising prideful kids who, in turn, would never be willing to admit they were wrong. Or, take it a step further and not be vulnerable enough to ask for forgiveness. He also pointed out that these words give power to the parent/child relationship and create a healthy and thriving communication between parent and child. No one really wants to be prideful or raise prideful kids. After all, we have all heard and seen lived out, “pride comes before a fall!”
Saying I am sorry and asking for forgiveness existed in my family growing up. After listening to the tapes and leading a Bible study on the “Growing Kids God’s Way” curriculum in our home for years, we were more conscious and intentional at being quick to admit our mistakes with our kids–saying we were sorry and asking them to forgive us. This has been a fantastic thing among the five of us. We fail sometimes, but over the years it has proven to benefit all five of us in MAJOR WAYS!
I often wish I could see these words used and implemented a lot more in relationships–work place, schools (elementary all the way through college), friendships, marriages, and even churches. All people, starting with myself, usually have a hard time saying or admitting, “I was wrong!” It is our “PRIDE”. No other word for it, just simply stated, Pride.
The Bible speaks countless times about pride. In Micah 6:8 it states, “He has shown you, O man what is good, and what does the Lord require of you, To act justly and love mercy and to walk HUMBLY with your God.” In James 4:6 it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” And in Proverbs 11:2 it says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
The Bible has many more scriptures that address PRIDE and HUMILITY, but with just these few, it is clear we are to humble ourselves, admit when we are wrong, then seek forgiveness. Then God’s grace is ushered in and not only grace, but wisdom. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t want a dose of GRACE and WISDOM, and it starts with humility.
From my own personal experience, when I am wrong, saying that I am sorry, going the second step and asking for forgiveness and then working to make sure I don’t repeat the offense (even though I am guilty at times of that repetitive thing! which I hate by the way) is one of the most POWERFUL ACTIONS I HAVE EVER TAKEN, especially with our kids. Most of the time, anyone I have wronged is quick to forgive and extend grace!! Then God gives the wisdom!
There have been times I have sincerely apologized. Even though I was told I was forgiven, I didn’t feel forgiven by the person. I have learned that at that point, it is off of my shoulders. I have been obedient to do what God has asked me to do and I am free in HIS eyes and that is what counts. People aren’t God and aren’t as quick to forgive as God.
Remember, God knows our heart and our motives and our sincerity as stated in Proverbs 16:2, “You may think everything you do is right, but the Lord judges your motives.” That brings great comfort to me when I have messed up because I know that God knows my heart when I apologize.
Point to leave you with is simply–Be willing to swallow your PRIDE.
When you are wrong, HUMBLE yourself and be willing to say, “I’M SORRY! WILL YOU PLEASE FORGIVE ME?” Trust God in your humility! You can’t control the other person’s response but you will be rewarded for yours!