Asking for Forgiveness

 

 

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There’s a big difference between “I’m sorry” and “please forgive me”.

“I’m sorry” communicates sympathy, regret, but no true remorse. “Please forgive me” lays bare the heart and conveys humility. It shows that you understand the wrong you have done and desire to make it right. To ask for forgiveness is to see a need for it. To express pity or regret is to deny your part in the problem. It is one thousand times harder to say, “I was wrong, please forgive me” than it is to say, “I’m sorry”.

When you’ve done something wrong, ask for forgiveness, that it might be given. Be honest and real. Avoid “but you’s”. Your responsibility is to deal with your own sin, not others’. Excuses kill a true apology and fertilize, pamper and cater to ugly pride, which would rear its head whenever you admit your own wrongdoing. Bite your tongue and die to yourself. Would you pet and harbor the very thing your Savior bled for? Even if the other person owes you an apology and refuses to give it, you can do your part and ask for nothing in return. This is what Christ would have us do.

Pity and sympathy, understanding and regret, have their places. But when true repentance is needed and geniune remorse required, then give it freely, without holding back. Let go of yourself and your vanity. Kill your conceit. Like a drug we are addicted to our arrogance; we don’t know how to function without it, feel pained when we deny it to ourselves, and honestly, blindly, believe that we are better off sick with it. And as soon as we throw away the needles and deny ourselves the substance, we feel pained. We do not ask for attention and prestige, and our bodies scream. We let someone else’s best interest go before our own, and suffer for it, and it hurts like a dagger. Without asking for recognition, we do what no one else wants to do and do it with no one seeing, and our minds and hearts and souls screech and flail with the misery of it.

And then slowly, ever so miserably slowly, we cease our addiction. We no longer feel the need to be prominent, first, the most important. We begin to see others interests as more important than our own. We submit to God without question. Our raging souls grow calm. Our screeching feelings quiet and our absurd minds still in the presence of One who is truly worth our adoration. And, in place of the hollow, empty, horrid, shallow high we received from filling our own sensitivities and pleasures, comes a deep, rich, abiding joy. It flows like a beautiful river through our hearts, and we glow with the peace and serenity and happiness of it. Walking hand in hand with the Lord, the mad, red rush of pride and self-preoccupation seem hideous and hollow…and we wonder how we could ever have found it comfortable and better. Better? Than this? Never.

Take every chance you can to kill your pride. Ask for true forgiveness and let go of your own interests. And when you do, go to the Lord for comfort. Hold His hand and be still in the presence of your Father who loves you so much. And know the eternal satisfaction of His pleasure.

 

 

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