Saturday, January 9, 2016
When "I'm Sorry" Isn't Enough
We teach at a young age to say the words "I'm sorry" for mistakes made whether it be hurting someone physically, hurting their feelings, breaking something, taking something, etc. In the preschool setting this is something that is necessary to teach them the sense of community and how to function one day in relationships. There was a trend I began noticing over the last few years and it was the person who was being apologized to was saying "It's okay.". It's NOT okay!
If Jimbob took John's car out of his hands, and later gives it back and says "I'm sorry." John should NOT say "it's okay". Saying I'm sorry does not make the behavior okay.
"I'm sorry" also doesn't correct the problem nor does it prevent it from happening again. "I'm sorry" are words a form of communication between a wrong doer and hurt person. It is the opening of a conversation that should happen to bring forgiveness, grace, healing, and even understanding.
Forgiveness is biblical and yes even practical. Unforgiveness brings on bitterness, strife, anger, and can lead to a whole multitude of things that can destroy a person from murder, drug use, divorce, infidelity, self harm and so much more. Forgiving someone does not mean you are giving them permission to continue whatever it was. It does however give you a chance at peace. It also does require you to not hang it over that person's head. Forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to forget but ti does and can mean that you have chosen to extend grace to that person.
Every relationship requires forgiveness at one point or another from both people involved. This goes for every relationship under the sun from husband and wife, parent and child, employer and employee, friend to friend, even neighbors and strangers.
It is okay to say "I forgive you but... I DON"T like it when ....". In fact that is what we teach the kiddos in our class. They are taught proper conflict resolution from the very get go of the school year, and it is about this time of year we see the fruit of it. It is amazing to hear three and four year olds work out a problem on their own AND defend themselves without physical altercation or adult interaction. I see alot of adults who can't even handle conflict in a positive manner, and the garbage that piles up from that.
While this is not 100% true in every situation men tend to get over things a lot quicker than women. Women need to time to process emotions, words, and to think it through. We truly operate from the heart in most matters where men will operate them through wisdom in the mind. Like I said, it may not even be gender - but one person to another. Usually in most relationships there is an analytical thinker and a heart & emotion thinker. I am the latter. I take time to process through pain, hurt, and disappointment. But when I do, and come out the other side offering forgiveness it is over for me. I am able to move on in that grace. Its it easy? Not at all, but if it is a relationship I am invested in and not ready to walk away from then I endure the process.
There are times I have walked away from relationships that just weren't healthy. Was it painful? Yes. Was it difficult? Yes. But for me to be a strong and healthy human being in the relationships I have that are of utmost importance, I had to choose to let go of toxic ones. Again, not easy but in the whole picture it is easier than we sometimes allow. In those cases I still offer forgiveness, I just simply choose to close the book when I finish. We are not taught that sometimes forgiveness comes with a price. We are not taught to use discretion after grace is given.
I challenge you today if you have something that you need to ask forgiveness from someone or you need to offer the grace to forgive.. do it. Don't delay!