Updated: Mar 22
Three powerful words..
Do you know three powerful words that just about everyone needs to hear? On the heels of Valentine’s Day, you might think it’s; “I Love You”, and indeed those are powerful and necessary. Or, perhaps the three words; you’ve...got..mail, (from the movie You’ve Got Mail) in the scene, Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly discuss the power of those three words! There are however three words that are oh-so-hard to muster the necessary courage to say. Drumroll please! “I Am Sorry” Right now there is someone who could have such peace by hearing those words! Or, one of us could have such peace from saying the same! Interestingly, there is a correct way to apologize and not surprising, it’s more difficult than we think. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to apologize but then, the apology starts to turn to what the ‘other’ person has done!’ A little google search (circa August 2017) turned up their formula for the perfect apology “
Elements of a Perfect Apology #1.Say you're sorry. Not, “I'm sorry, but . . .”, just plain ol' “I'm sorry.” #2. Own the mistake. It's important to show the other person that you're willing to take responsibility for your actions. #3.Describe what happened. ... #4.Have a plan. ... #5.Admit you were wrong. ... #6.Ask for forgiveness. You could successfully apologize without #3 and 4. I am sorry, saying these three powerful words could be life changing!
For practical purposes, I can share just one (of too many to write of) example of a time that required me to apologize.
The events leading up to my bad behavior were not my fault. In fact, it was because all of the events beforehand, at the fault of another individual, that in the moment..right up to when you make that choice to behave or not 😳, I literally had the arguments playing out in my head and heart.
The one side saying, don‘t be mean, come on Sarah, you know that being mean to this person is wrong.
The other (and dare I say very convincing) side saying, come on Sarah, remember how mad you are, your’e justified to be mean!
So what did I do? I went right down the middle and gave the person a very cold shoulder. You know the chilly silent treatment we say isn’t ‘actually’ being mean because we don’t open our mouths?
Yup, that‘s meanness and needed apologizing for.
It took me TWO weeks to make this right. Why? Because each time I rehearsed the apology it would go something like this:
I wanted to apologize for being mean. I wouldn’t have ’normally’ acted like that but because of what you did, it made me so upset, so I gave you the cold shoulder.
For 2 weeks, the apology didn‘t change too much.
Finally, God interrupted (😏) my prayer time to remind me what a real apology needed to sound like. I was broken and couldn’t wait to make-things-right.
I am sorry
I was wrong
Would you forgive me?
Three simple words.
Perhaps, right now there is someone who could have such peace by hearing those words! Or, one of us could have such peace from saying the same!