“I’m Sorry”

-FORGIVING-

                                            To forgive isn’t cheap
                                              It doesn’t come free
                                            It costs pride and face
                                                    and memory
                                             It’s biding your time
                                          and biting your tongue
                                            and forgetting words
                                                carelessly slung
                                                   Jesus forgave
                                                  Ha paid in full
                                              He’ll show us how
                                             and make us whole
                                                      if we trust
                                              and learn to live
                                               as we’re forgiven
                                                is how to forgive
 ~Melody Carlson
 
Saying Your Sorry. This has to be one of the hardest actions. It takes swallowing your pride and asking for forgiveness, even when you aren’t the one who did anything wrong. You might think that sounds crazy! Why would you say your sorry when you did ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING wrong? Jesus didn’t do anything wrong. He paid the price for us. He did it so we can make amends with His Father. Say your sorry so you can make amends with that person. Saying sorry, and meaning it, puts the ball in their court. They’ll have to make the decision on how to take your apology. You just continue to love that person.
 
In middle school, I was the President/Co-founder of this club called “Christ’s Gurlz”. You can tell by the name that we were pretty, cool catz, haha. Well, I’m the kind of leader who would rather just do everything myself because I don’t feel like anyone else will be able to do it just right.
 
          Hi, I’m Jessie and I’m a perfectionist. Yep, that’s me.
 
Well, I tried my very hardest to give jobs to the other leaders, and I was constantly aggravated and stressed, because I felt like no one was being consistent or taking things seriously. I needed to take a serious chill pill, but regardless I ended up doing hours and hours of work all by myself for this club. I came to the point were I got so frustrated with the other leaders for not listening to me when I asked for help, that I basically didn’t talk to the one leader that I had classes with. I didn’t talk to her unless she spoke to me. It was partially because I knew if I spoke to her, that my agitation would show through my words, but mostly because I was an immature little 7th grader. I eventually just got over it.
 
Two years went by. It was my freshman year. I still held resentment and so I talked to God about it. I said, “God, ya know what, I forgive all those girls for not helping me when I asked, and all of the other things that I got upset about. I don’t want to hold grudges anymore. The only person it’s hurting anymore is me. So I’m letting go of all the hate and anger, and I’m giving it you.”
 
I felt so good after giving it to God. It was finally all left in the past. Then God said, “What about that girl that you didn’t talk to. Don’t you need to apologize to her?” My response to this was, “Are you kidding me God? I didn’t do anything wrong!! I’m the one who was constantly crying because I was so stressed out. I don’t need to say “I’m sorry” for anything!”
 
I just left it at that. As the months went by, I kept feeling this nudging on my heart that I needed to apologize to her. I felt like it was pointless since it was so long ago. She probably wouldn’t even remember.
 
Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I sat down and wrote this girl an entire letter about how sorry I was. You might think that writing it down is chickening out of having to say “I’m sorry” to her face. Maybe it is, but I have trouble getting out everything I want to say, and writing my thoughts and feelings out on paper make me get the whole picture across nice and clear.
 
A few days later, when this girl was driving me home, I gave her the letter as I got out of the car. I was so scared and nervous. I had no clue how she was going to respond to this.
 
Ten minutes later she calls me up on the phone and from that moment on my jaw was falling to the ground in shock. Here’s what she said:
“Oh my gosh, Jessie! You have no idea how much this means to me! A couple of years ago when all this was happening I was talking to my mom about it because I was so upset. I didn’t understand why you weren’t talking to me. I didn’t know what to do. My mom told me to just leave it alone because God would put it on your heart to say you’re sorry to me. I never saw this coming. Thank you so much!”

I was astonished. I felt so humbled. This was NOT the reaction I was expecting and to think that if I had disobeyed God we never would have mended that area of our relationship. I felt so blessed. Receiving forgiveness really makes you feel free, even though I didn’t think that I had done anything wrong. I felt good, like a weight was lifted from shoulders, that I didn’t even know was there.

After that point I made a choice to always confront people (with love) when I feel like something is wrong, or maybe I did something to hurt their feelings, or vice versa. I want to talk about it, get it in the open so my relationships can stay healthy and life-giving. That’s  being transparent and helps you live life to the fullest.

I want to challenge you. Get out a piece of paper. Write down names of the people you know. Then ask yourself, “How is our relationship?” “Is there anything I need to ask forgiveness for?” “Is there anything that that person, who’s supposed to be my friend, is doing to hurt me?”

Then I want you to pray about it, and pray for those people. Ask God if you need to say “I’m sorry” for anything. Free yourself, don’t live in the bondages of unforgiveness, hate, and unresolved situations.

BE FREE!
 “So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says , ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4 NIV
 

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18: 21-22 NIV

 

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”    Colossians 3:13

 
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32

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