The Book of Micah is a book of prophecy that makes you sit up and take notice.
“What does God require of thee but to do justice and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Mercy brings us to the miracle of apology, given and accepted, to unashamed humility when we have erred or forgotten.”
We face each day wanting our expectations to be met. We are blessed if they are, and sometimes we make the best of our disappointments if they are not.
For me, sound thinking is necessary. As Paul write to the Corinthians, “for now, we know in part“. My only tool of redemption is courage and resilience. For me, it is what matters most of all.
Prophecy is from God, a Holy Spirit gift. One that can set a life-course and bring the word into existence.
Some live just to receive one, others learn by giving and receiving, stepping into unchartered ways, and accepting the responsibility of actions and words.
Success is in the words ‘Walk humbly.’ By doing this, we experience mercy.
Experiencing mercy is accepting the part that apologising has in the outcome.
We all need to learn how to apologise – after all, no one is righteous (no, not one). We all make mistakes and are capable of hurting people through our behaviours and actions. Intentional or not.
It’s not always easy to apologise, but it restores trust and balance in a relationship.
There are plenty of reasons to make a sincere apology when you’ve hurt someone or made a mistake.
First, an apology opens a dialogue between yourself and the other person. Our willingness to admit our mistake gives the other person an opportunity to communicate with you, and start dealing with their feelings.
When we apologise, we also acknowledge that we engaged in unacceptable behaviour. It helps us rebuild trust and re-establish our relationship with the other person. It also gives us a chance to discuss what is and isn’t acceptable.
What’s more, when we admit that the situation was our fault, we restore dignity to the person we hurt. It can begin the healing process, and it can ensure that they don’t unjustly blame themselves for what happened.
Last, a sincere apology shows that we’re taking responsibility for our actions. It can strengthen our self-confidence, self-respect, and reputation. We’re also likely to feel a sense of relief when we come clean about our actions. And it’s one of the best ways to restore our integrity in the eyes of others.
‘I am sorry’ would be one of the most important phrases in our lives. It keeps the focus on our actions and not on the other person’s response.
I can’t begin to imagine if God had put conditions on my repentance of wrong. What would be the meaning of life if my apology and confession was rejected by words of criticism, justification or condemnation?
A true apology does not include the word ‘BUT’.
A true apology is not self-effacing – it’s not about you.
A true apology doesn’t get caught up in who’s carries the most blame.
A true apology isn’t about ‘who started it’.
A true apology should not serve to silence another person.
A true apology doesn’t have the last word.
A true apology is not given with an expectation of anything in return, not even forgiveness.
A true apology is not a bargaining tool with which we get something back.
But a true apology requires that we do our best to avoid a repeat performance!
A true apology is not the end of a conversation, but the beginning, a step that changes the atmosphere so that we can move forward.
Giving an apology when we realise that we have done something wrong restores relationships, making us own our behaviour and choose the right thing. As my children became aware of the consequences of their behaviour, my mantra was always:
‘It’s not who is right, but what is right.’
I know that by acknowledging my wrongs to God has made me stronger; made me grow up; made me honest; and given me peace.
There is a requirement and responsibility in this life to be real, to reflect God’s grace and mercy in our lives. We are his children, and He is and will always be our Father. But there comes a time when we can no longer act like children, cocooned in infantile behaviour, and our own self-promoting expectations.
If we are carried all our lives, we shall forget how to walk. We shall forget the very core of our faith. Live in unreality.
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Apologising may be the hardest thing we do – a truly humbling, scary act of laying down pride and our sense of dignity, to expose our humanity.
A well-crafted apology is short and to the point. Doesn’t need to be a dissertation on the situation.
Apologise, state the offence, and take ownership of the hurt you’ve caused.
Let the offended individual know that you never meant to push his or her buttons in that way.
The Bible advises, “Fire goes out for lack of fuel” (Proverbs 26:20, NLT).
Be an authentic being, willing to stand up and be reckoned with. Shame the devil and rejoice in God’s Mercy and Grace.
Put aside anger, justification, blame, hurt and pride. Live in the knowledge that you are willing to be the best person you can be, at that moment, in that situation, with that person.
Restoration of relationships is the reward.