Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I have always sought to live in a way that didn't require apology. And that, frankly, was more motivated by pride than by holiness.
In the last few years, I've paid special attention to the apologizers in my life. They've taught me a lot.
I've noticed that I don't think less of the apologizer for making a mistake. Their ownership not only takes responsibility for the situation but it rights the wrong. It neutralizes it. When someone apologizes for something, I have noticed that I have greater respect for them than I did before they offended me in the first place.
There is a more important lesson in apologizing.
When someone apologizes to me, and that forgiveness is expressed from me to them, it gives me a glimpse of Jesus. The more easily I extend forgiveness, the closer I feel to him, the Great Forgiver. Perhaps more importantly, it teaches me that sin is ugly but mercy and grace are beautiful. Repentance makes situations lovely and sweet no matter how bitter we feel at the start. I've learned to apologize quickly. To model sacred repentance in the world, it's like an opportunity to sneak in a Sunday School lesson in everyday life.
Every "I'm sorry," is a picture of repentance.
Every "No problem," is a picture of redemption.
I think making mistakes is not so bad after all. It's necessary to continually turn our spirits back toward the life that only happens through the exchange of repentance and redemption. Instead of being ashamed when I make an error, I want to be eager to ask forgiveness, and sow one more seed of redemption.