I heard it again today… She verbalized a list of her contributions to the breakdown of their marriage while her husband sat wide-eyed in agreement. It was a beautiful set up for a heartfelt meaningful step toward reconciliation of their marriage. Then it happened. The words “I apologize” flowed from her lips with a thud to the floor and the air left the room. A dissapointed smirk crossed the husbands face as if to say “really?” I found myself churning inside and the teacher in me came out. A lesson I find myself teaching over and over again. An apology is a cognitive process, forgiveness is a spiritual one. Scripture never calls, commands or suggests we apologize. God’s Word cites forgiveness over two dozen times and not once to apology. Jesus didn’t apologize for our sin, He forgave it! When seeking restoration of relationship, we must get past the worldly clause of apology and engage the Lord’s heart for forgiveness. True forgiveness of another person is often slighted in favor of an easier “out” with a lesser apology. Make a point of doing the dangerously righteous act of asking for forgiveness; first resting in the forgiveness of the Lord, then asking it of the person you have sinned against. An apology is appropriate when we’ve made a mistake, but sin requires forgiveness. May we live forgiven by being forgiving!
Has ministry lost its fun? Been stifled by someone saying that’s not “allowed?” What do you need to do to find it?
Congratulations to Patty O’bryant Watkinson for her winning caption this week! Check out facebook.com/ReclaimLeadership to see her contribution and to participate in this weeks caption contest.
I couldn’t help but think of how we as ministry leaders often feel as if we’re hanging in limbo waiting for a decision to be made. This picture captures how many of us feel. Consider: Decision making for the spiritual leader is more than a thought process, it is a trust process. Trust the Lord to direct our paths as we make our plans. Sounds a lot like Proverbs 16:9. That verse keeps us off the fence and out of “udder confusion”.