This past Sunday, as we continued our series on forgiveness, Dale dove into the importance of seeking forgiveness from others when we sin against them.
As sinful people, we are going to hurt one another. Yet, even though we know this, it is difficult to swallow our pride, look someone in the eye, and admit we’re wrong.
Proverbs 28:13 says, “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” (NLT)
1) Have the right attitude. The New Testament of the Bible was originally written in the Greek language and the Greek word for confession, homologeo, means “to say the same thing;” in other words, to see our sin as God sees it. Don’t make excuses or cast the blame (i.e. I was tired. I was just reacting to your tone.) See your actions through the eyes of our perfect Savior.
2) Name it. Don’t let your pride get in the way of true repentance; state clearly using Biblical terms how you sinned against the person you wronged. Naming our sin communicates that we are aware of the hurt we’ve caused and using Biblical terms helps us get to the heart of our actions.
3) Ask for forgiveness. Don’t stop short. Once you confess, ask the person to forgive you. Unfortunately, they may not be in a place to offer forgiveness. But Paul writes in Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Their response is not your responsibility; God will work on their heart.
4) Keep it simple. Proverbs 10:19 says, “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” (NLT) “I was wrong and sinned against you last night when I took my anger out on you. Will you forgive me?”
Forgiveness isn’t easy, but Christ calls us to confess to one another and offer grace to each other. I pray we give grace to each other as freely as we have received it from Christ.