Forgive. Apologize.

Maybe it’s just because it’s late at night and I’m feeling a little raw from being away from people I love. I’m not sure why, because I’ve never written a post like this, but I’m going to write this because it is on my heart to write it.

If you are like many people on this planet, there is something that is bothering you right now. That something is actually a someone. Someone you care about deeply. The reason you know this is because people you don’t care about deeply don’t frustrate you the way this person does. Other people may give you the annoyance of a fly buzzing in your ear, but the people we let in are able to profoundly touch our hearts, and deeply wound us. So here is what I want to say today.

Forgive the person who hurt you.

I have given up on some relationships in the past because I was hurt. Then I became bitter. Now, I’m living different. It isn’t easy. Forgiveness is a choice. Jesus tells us to do it. He says if we don’t forgive other people, God won’t forgive us. You can’t delete that from your Bible. None of us can. Who needs forgiveness?

Your spouse?

Your “used to be but isn’t best friend anymore”?

The person who broke your heart?

You can choose to forgive, or you can choose to remain embittered towards them. Forgiveness is a choice. This will either ruin or repair your relationship with God. You won’t be growing closer to him when there’s judgmentality, bitterness, or pride in your heart. Essentially, you are wedging a 2×4 between your heart and God. God may not leave you, but you’re not exactly doing what He says.

Don’t wait for them to apologize before you forgive. Go ahead and forgive. Jesus says to.

On the other side of things, here are three of the hardest words to say. 

“I am sorry.” Sometimes, what we’ve done requires more than “I am sorry.” Sometimes, it carries us to “I am so, so, so, so, so sorry.” (Realize, you’re not a sorry person, but you have sorrow in your heart for something you did that was sorry.)

If you’re married, and you’ve been a jerk to your spouse, you need to apologize. I’ve talked to a lot of married people over the past year with crushed hearts because their spouse wouldn’t ever apologize and change. When our hearts are crushed, it is difficult to respond in ways that are loving. So we often respond in a mean way.

Maybe you never expected you would wind up here. Maybe you’re embarrassed by your behavior, or that you broke the promises you said you would never break. You can never control the other person’s response. It is their choice. But you have the choice with what to do today. Make the difficult choice. Repent before God. Apologize. Change. It will be worth it.

Hurt people hurt people. It is time we heal with Jesus, but his prescription for healing is coming to Him in complete surrender. That means we give Him all of ourselves. That also means we do what He says, and not just when it is convenient.

Yes, this is something that is hard for all of us. But we can do what it is hard. It’s only hard.

Swallow your pride. Forgive. Apologize. Start walking the road of freedom in Christ again.


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