Do you apologize when you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you or do you ignore the nudge? Do you know how and when to apologize? Do you apologize to your kids? Here’s how and why.
When you need to apologize
This week I found myself apologizing to loved ones more than once.
My apologies weren’t over huge issues, but in both cases, I’d left our encounters feeling a nagging sense of not liking the way I’d behaved or the way I’d left the conversation.
I could’ve easily let it go.
Apologizing to your kids
In the case of my child, he has to love me anyway, and he wasn’t perfect either. I can tell myself this story, and the guilt will go away pretty quickly.
I know, because it’s what I usually do.
But when I don’t address my sin, my anger, it doesn’t get resolved.
So this time, I apologized for my behavior. I told my child I was wrong to blow up the way I did. I asked for his forgiveness. I didn’t say, “you made me” or “if you would just” all the usual ways I apologize to my kids.
I told him my yelling was wrong, and I asked him to forgive me. I said it was something I struggle with and need to work on.
He didn’t say much, and since I was the one apologizing, I had to be okay with this.
Then I went to my daughter, who witnessed the whole situation, and apologized to her.
Apologizing to friends
The next morning, to my surprise, he was more compassionate towards me. I woke up with a migraine, and while I tried to do my best to help the kids get ready for school, he noticed and said, “I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well this morning.”
For a preteen boy to take compassion on his mom who hurt his feelings the night before, this was touching.
Later in the week, a friend and I discussed a passionate topic over coffee. We were interrupted and left quickly. I questioned if she mistook any of what I’d said the wrong way and tried to convince myself it was fine.
I could’ve left it there. After all, we weren’t arguing. We were discussing opposite sides of an issue.
But if I want deep connections rooted in Christ, do I let the devil take a foothold, or do I come forth with humility?
I sent a text of apology. And come to find out it was needed.
The nudging to Apologize
That voice that whispers to you to send the text, or say you’re sorry, reach out to your loved one, hug your child. These are the nudgings of the Holy Spirit.
What if instead of debating with the Holy Spirit about if an apology is essential, we just acted on it.
What do you have to lose if you apologize or come forward with humility, and it isn’t needed?
On the other hand, what do you have to lose if an apology is sorely needed, and your pride keeps you from coming forward?
things to keep in mind when offering an apology
Method of Delivery
Depending on the severity of your offense, it may or may not be appropriate to apologize over text.
You’ll have to make a judgment call just make sure you aren’t taking the easy road out by texting instead of saying you’re sorry face to face.
Acceptance of Apology
The person to whom you’re apologizing doesn’t have to accept your apology or say anything immediately in return.
What’s important is that you were obedient to God and offered your regrets.
Their response is their responsibility.
How You Phrase Your Apology
Make sure you phrase your words with love and take full responsibility.
Don’t use words like “you made me” or “when you said this” or anything that puts the other person on the defense.
Sure the other person probably paid a role in your disagreement. But the point isn’t to rehash your argument but to simply own up to your part and wipe your slate clean.
If you don’t feel like you can do that, then you’re not ready to apologize.
This week I challenge you to offer an apology to someone when you feel the prompting to do so. Don’t over-analyze if it’s needed or not.