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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Redemptive Power of Sorry


“I’m Sorry.”
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Such important words,
Words for life,
When only words,
Can redeem the strife.
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There are many ways to say sorry. Doing wrong is not the end of it. Saying sorry can be an important redemptive beginning. It can open a pathway from the relational quagmire out into relational space. There is a way back to trust through respect.
But the redemptive power of sorry is limited regarding other people’s acceptance of what constitutes sorry. Sorry becomes personally meaningful—we believe the apology, or our distrust is heightened. Being sorry can heal, but just the same it can hurt if it makes things worse or it isn’t accepted.
So, whilst being sorry is a way back into the relationship, it can also mean rejection. Many times we are found ill-prepared for such rejection.
Complications Of Sorry
It’s a skill in any relationship to understand the needs for apology. Doubly then, we must translate these ideas for redemption into action. Not everyone who knows they need to be sorry can translate their emotion into the right sort of restitution. And what works for one person, so far as restitution is concerned, doesn’t work for another.
Apologising can be a rather fickle art. But nothing beats genuineness. When we are genuinely sorry we find ways back into most people’s hearts.
What can be a sad reality for so many people is, whilst they understand that they did wrong, they have limited ways of coming back. Sometimes the other party won’t let them back. Sometimes no correspondence will be entered into. Or the imagination or motivation to compel the apology may be vacant. We cannot fake sorry.
But, sorry ought to always be the way back, through redemption, to the equalisation of the relationship. Sorry frees up love.
The skill is brought to life in the ability to discern the moment’s need and particularly the person’s style who we are apologising to.
Sorry – A Dialect Of Love
How can sorry be better communicated than via the heartiest discernment of love?
When we are motivated by love in our quest to apologise—and to make better an undesirable situation however we can—we hardly have a self-conscious moment. Our apologetic words and deeds are uninhibited.
When we give of ourselves, without thought for self-protection, with the central interest being for the relationship, the other person can unconsciously know of our love. Our good intent is somehow felt.
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With love and genuineness our apologies restore peace. Damaged relationships can be helped when we resist protecting ourselves and give of ourselves in humble grace. Humble admissions of mistakes and a desire to make amends are wondrous for relational healing.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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