Short Thought continued.....
Waiting in uncertainty
What is my response when I feel I have damaged a relationship by the words I have said?
When I think they have been hurtful, caused pain or created unrest?
When I have spoken out of ignorance, clumsiness or self-centeredness?
When I am unsure if I am making this up yet felt the chill that descended between us
after my words were uttered and a perceived negative response had followed?
I know an apology is always the first step, whether damage was real or imaginary, better
be on the safe side. The issue can then be dealt with and we can hopefully both move on.
However, if it is not possible to do so face to face but via another means, I normally end up
tying myself up into knots until I get a reply. I lose sleep over it, become compulsive in my
behaviour to alleviate the stress it is causing me, am incapable of thinking of anything else,
am led to distraction by my need to be reconciled and end up totally paralysed and
unable to function until the relationship has been fixed.
I hate that place. It is a prison that causes more damage by locking me into fear and guilt;
so I thank God that, in His Grace, He has shown me another way.
Yes, apology is the right place to start, but where to next in those painful minutes,
hours or days of agonising while waiting for a response?
We can start by repenting before God, asking for His forgiveness if we have done wrong.
We can look at ourselves and whatever shame or guilt we might feel and
acknowledge that we are broken people.
We can ask God to help us forgive ourselves too, accept being a work in progress and
refuse to let past mistakes define us and our future behaviour.
We can then accept God's forgiveness and walk in His redeeming work in our lives:
What have we learned? What could we have done differently?
We can ask that He would redeem the situation and then leave it with Him.
We are willing to apologise if we are convicted of any more wrong doing.
We are ready for the relationship to be in a difficult place (hopefully for a short time)
if the words we have spoken needed to be spoken.
We can ask God to reveal their side of the story to help us see
with compassion and understanding.
And we can go through that process again and again every time the enemy
would want to steal our joy, destroy our peace and paralyse us in our lives.
We might still need to make amends, but in the Name of Jesus we can refuse to walk
in paralysing guilt and un-forgiveness to ourselves, and chose to walk in His freedom.
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
(Romans 8:1 NIV)