Apologizing can be one of the hardest things you ever have to do! After all, it requires humbling yourself and admitting you were wrong. Sometimes apologizing is about your wrong response to what they did.
When you seek forgiveness it is important that you sincerely express your regret over what you said or did – or perhaps over what you did not say or do! The one receiving your apology needs to know that it is heart-felt and not just lip-service. Both your words and body language are important factors in communicating sincerity.
Gary Chapman, author of The Five Languages of Apology, makes this observation:
“Apology is birthed in the womb of regret. We regret the pain we have caused, the disappointment, the inconvenience, the betrayal of trust. Regret focuses on what you did or failed to do, and how it affected the other person.”
Here are some typical ways we can express sincere regret and ask for forgiveness:
- I am so sorry. I never intended to hurt you. I realize that I was out of line. Forgive me for being so insensitive.
- I feel so badly that I disappointed you. If it is in my power, I will never do it again.
- I know that I hurt you deeply. That makes me feel so sad inside. Is there any way that you can ever forgive me?
- I know you felt betrayed by me. Do you think you could ever find it in your heart to trust me again? I know that I don’t deserve it, but I truly value our relationship and would like to start fresh.
Remember to connect at the heart level when asking forgiveness. It is important that you do not attempt to manipulate the other person to reciprocate. Additionally, sometimes situations exist where forgiveness has occurred, but reconciliation is not always possible. Whether or not a complete reconciliation occurs, you can be at peace because you know you’ve done your part.
If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18