11.02.2011

Saying, "I am Sorry." Is Not Enough.

The blood pressure is finally normalizing. Your hands regain heat and your nose is no longer cold. The rush of adenaline has now causing you think a little more rational and you are gaining composure. Words have been said. Doors possibly have been slammed shut. Long rides to the gas station have ended with garage door being shut and both parties are finally breathing normally. THE FIGHT IS OVER.

No matter which side of the argument you are on. This is not the best moment for any marriage or friendship. But what is vital ....what is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL...is not to respond in a minimizing of the situation. What does that look like you might ask?

Resist Statements like:
1. "Sweetheart, I am sorry. But..."
2. "Sweetheart, I am sorry."
3. "It has been a rough week, and I am sorry."
4. "You just made me angry,...I am sorry."
5. "Its ok baby. Let's just don't worry about it."

These statements sound very good on the surface, but can gloss over the problems that are really going on. By minimizing the situation in Example #5 you are not addressing that an issue has happened. In addition, the issue could be SIN. This permissive approach to sin is not the Biblical response. Sin should always be taken seriously as an offense to God, then an offense to others. Example #2 is also not acceptable as it reflects a very easy statement to voice, but with no heart action. The offender takes no responsibility for the offense, but can merely walk away. Examples 1,3,4 are all ways we blame-shift.

BOTTOMLINE: Instead of pressing to solve the conflict quickly with a "I am sorry." Take responsibility for the action. Address the individual with the 'facts' of what YOU did. Example, "Sweetheart, I know that by spending beyond our budget I jeorparized our finances and also was dishonest in my marriage commitment." or "I apologize for what I said to you. Those were hurtful words I should have never said. Will you forgive me?"

TRY THESE STEPS:
Take responsibility for your actions.
Be specific in your confession/apology.
Ask for forgiveness.
Ask for support in pursuing holiness.

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