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May 18, 2017, 12:00 AM

Cleaning Up Your Messes


“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.  Respect what is right in the sight of all men.” Romans 12:17

No matter how hard we try, and despite our best intention, we occasionally say and do things that hurt others.  Sometimes (often), it is those we love the most that we hurt the deepest.  Whether or not our hurtful outburst was in retaliation or not, when we do make a hurtful mistake, our pride and fear often keep us from properly making amends.  
Pride tells us that our hurtful words and actions were somehow justified and we have nothing to apologize for.  Fear tells us to protect ourselves and our image or people will not respect us, demean us, or take advantage of us.  Unfortunately this attitude of fear and pride only prolong bad feelings and prevent us from mending relationships that are predicated by trust.  

So what can we do when we are hurt or are guilty of causing hurt to make things right and restore a healthy relationship?

1.  Be the first to apologize.  Making the first move is not a sign of weakness.  On the contrary a sincere apology displays strength of character and true concern for the feelings and dignity of others, especially of those whom we may have caused hurt.  

2.  Don’t make excuses for your actions.  Take ownership of your mistake, and don’t try to justify your actions by the choices of someone else.  

3.  Maintain a humble attitude.  Scripture clearly teaches to be humble and not hold ourselves in higher esteem than others, or higher than we aught to think of ourselves.  

Demonstrating  this strength of character while remaining humble is referred to as meekness and the Bible says that the meek shall inherit the blessings of God. (Matthew 5:5 - The meek shall inherit the earth)  

Bottom line: No matter what your part is in a disagreement where feelings are damaged, surrender your pride and apologize.  It shows obedience, courage, humility, love, and strength.  

After all that sounds like exactly what Christ would do.  He was willing to lay on himself the wrongs of us all.  He made the perfect eternal apology through His blood on the cross.   It was his payment that God accepted for all who will believe and turn to Him.  


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