Oct. 28 - Relational Conflict, Part 3 - Confession and Apologies
On Sunday, we continued Greg’s series on Relational Conflict. He shared with us the importance of confessions and apologies, which is addressed numerous times throughout Scripture.
Matthew 18:15 (NLT) If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.
Many years ago I had a relational conflict with my next-door neighbor. Later he approached me with this apology: “I’m sorry if I caught you when you were in a bad mood.” I appreciate his attempt to make amends, but his apology showed that his heart wasn’t really in it and that he blamed me for what had happened. Since many of us have an equally poor track record of confessing and apologizing, Greg shared seven really helpful steps to making a sincere confession to someone we have wronged.
Address everyone involved. Confess what you have done and ask for forgiveness from everyone who was hurt, including God.
Avoid the words “if,” “but,” and “maybe.” These small words will turn a true apology into a conditional statement, often pushing the blame back on the one who was hurt.
Admit specifically. Let them know you know exactly what you did wrong.
Accept consequences. Just because you’re sorry for wrecking your friend’s car doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible for the repairs.
Alter your behavior. If you admit that you’ve been lying, apologize, then continue to lie, your apology isn’t worth much and the relationship will suffer.
Ask forgiveness. And be sure you are truly repentant to the person and to God.
Allow time for emotions to be processed. Let them have time to digest everything you’ve said and give them the time they need to respond.
As humans, confessing that we’re wrong and asking for forgiveness don’t come easily to us, but as followers of Christ we know it must be done. Is there someone out there waiting on a confession from you? Today is a great day to take that step towards mending the relationship.