Friends, I am asking for a few minutes of your time to reflect if there is someone in your mind that you need to either ask for forgiveness or someone that you need to forgive.
It might not be something so serious or what has happened might be so immaterial that both of you tend to be silent about it and decided to just forget it.
Truth be told, was the relationship been the same? Was the intimacy or the closeness between the two of you never degraded? Is there no relationship to begin with?
Once again, think. 🙂
Upon discovering that asking for forgiveness and reconciliation is a very difficult application to act upon not only for me, I had this urge to share with you the pattern or guide I used in the past month.
This guide is basically grounded on the biblical model that Jesus gave us in Matthew 18.
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (NIV)
This process is not to prove who is right or who is wrong but the goal is to have the relationship be restored.
As mentioned in my #3 application point [ I told you, read Choose To Care first. 🙂 ], my communication means is via electronic mail since I haven’t kept in touch with them. I suggest that as long as it is probable to talk face-to-face, do it.
I. Tell the person what he/she did to you and how you felt about it. You might need to recall what was the very first thing that made you angry or frustrated or disappointed or whatever negative feeling you experienced because of what he/she did to you, whether intentionally or not.
II. Tell the person that you are forgiving him/her. Assure the person that he/she doesn’t have to do anything as a restitution or reparation in order for you to forgive him/her.
III. Ask for forgiveness for the wrong things that you’ve done towards him/her. May it be a reaction to what he/she has done to you or a deliberate act of revenge, do not justify.
IV. Ask for reconciliation. This might be the hardest part since forgiving each other seem enough but seeing each other again is somewhat unimaginable. I’m telling you, let’s obey. 🙂 If you’re still doubting, read Matthew 5:23-24.
Here’s an example:
Basically I am writing because I have this feeling that I need to talk to you. I do not know, actually, what to say or how to start it. Anyway…
First, I want you to know that I became angry with you years ago starting from the time that you chose to celebrate your birthday with your office mates and not with me, which made me feel really ignored and unloved. The rest is history.
Second, I want you to know that I am forgiving you for unintentionally hurting my feelings in any and every way. You do not owe me any explanation nor you’re obliged to do anything that is favorable upon me.
Third, I am asking for your forgiveness for all the wrong responses and bad attitudes I displayed toward that incident. I admit that though the feeling of anger is natural, I am responsible for the fact that I’ve sinned and caused harm on you in many ways. Will you forgive me?
Lastly, I am sincerely offering a genuine friendship. If it’s not too much to ask, I want to receive a feedback, pls reply. Also, I am wiling to meet, so long as you want to see me.
Thank you and may God bless you always.
Of course you have to write the letter or say it based on the natural you. Mine was like a business letter, actually. 😀 The important thing is you would not neglect each part.
Now, what’s next?
What if they wouldn’t reply? What if they’ll just ignore you? Read again Matthew 18:15-17 above. It says that if they didn’t listen to you, tell it again with one or two witnesses. If it’s still not successful, tell it to the church. If nothing happens, then you have all the right to treat them as pagans or tax collectors (enemy).
Funny thing is, God said “Love your enemies.” 😛