You know that feeling you get when you’ve done something wrong, either intentionally or unintentionally, and all you want is a chance to go back and undo what you just did/said?
I definitely know the feeling.
Recently I did something that just didn’t sit well with me. In the moment, I didn’t even think about it being bad or wrong. But very soon the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I needed to apologize and ask forgiveness. It was the last thing I wanted to do.
Let me tell you, there have been times in the past where I have not handled a situation like this well. I did the exact opposite of what I should have done, and I paid the price each time. However, this time, I wanted to be different. I wanted to handle it God’s way.
How does God want us to handle these situations?
If we look into the Scriptures, we find that God wants us to confess our sins to Him, first and foremost.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. | 1 John 1:9
So that is what I did. I humbled myself and stopped trying to justify my actions in my mind. I realized what I did offended someone, and asked God’s forgiveness. I felt God’s love and forgiveness wash over me immediately. One thing I have learned, however, is that once you open your heart up to God, you will feel His nudging to make it right with the person you offended.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. | James 5:16
I have learned that for me, I am much better at writing a thoughtful note than trying to ask forgiveness in person. You might be a master of words, but I knew that if I tried that, I would definitely put my foot in my mouth. So I wrote a simple, humble note and gave it to the person next time I saw her.
I felt like a completely new person.
And you know what? The next time I saw her, she liked me better than she did before the whole incident! Not only had I followed God with what He put on my heart, I also felt amazing and now have a much better relationship with that person. I’d call that a win-win!
God blesses us for following Him. Even if you go to someone, apologize, and ask forgiveness, if they are unwilling to forgive, at least you will be clean. You will have done what is required of you.
How wonderful that God makes a way for us sinful people to be clean. To be made righteous. It is all because of Jesus, and His amazing power working in us.