It’s NOT Too Late To Apologize

boy free with ball
Just let it go.

In my brain, blinking in neon lights, is a MARRIAGE TIP we received in our pre-marital counseling.  We have put it into practice again and again and again.  We have taught it to our boys.  It’s a part of our family.

Here it is:

When you need to apologize, extend an honest “I am sorry.” But also add, “Will you please forgive me?”

apology

It’s an invitation to humble reconciliation with a request for forgiveness and an opportunity for response. Key components to a repentant heart.

I love it and I hate it. Sometimes, I can’t answer with a yes. I have to deal with

some anger, irritation, emotions, stubbornness, whatever. And sometimes, I don’t want to even ask it! But eventually, we all come to forgiveness and a restored relationship. The goal.

Forgiveness can be tricky. It’s so broad and deep and multi-layered. It tackles hanous sins and complicated emotions. But held within the arms of forgiveness are peace and joy.  A place were I want to reside.

Tucked away in the last chapter of Hosea (14) shines a spotlight on forgiveness.  What a fitting way to end such a beautifully redemptive story (for a full recap, please visit the #messylove series).

Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
    Your sins have been your downfall!  Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips. Assyria cannot save us;
 we will not mount warhorses.
We will never again say ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find compassion.” Hosea 14:1-3

What I found here has knocked my socks off!

In order to forgive myself, I must understand God’s forgiveness and learn how to apologize to Him. Try these 3 ways:

1. Snatch up your words and go to God. The original Hebrew word for “take” is laqach meaning “seize, take up, snatch.” I love the word snatch.  I can visualize snatch.

My 3rd boy snatching a Ninja Turtle sword out of the hand of his older brother.

Me snatching a MilkDud out of my husband’s hand at the movies.

Snatching is quick. Snatching has a grip. Snatching assumes ownership. We are to snatch, grab hold of, take ownership of our apology. Instead of thinking about it, punishing myself for stupidity, and allowing it to define who I am, I need to shift to the direction of God and GO.

2.  Let go of ALL your sin. Let. It. Go. Why is this so hard?  It’s ugly and awful and I really don’t want it. The word “forgive” here in Hebrew nasa means “lift, bear, to carry, to endure.” We are asking God to lift up the burden of my sin and carry it Himself.

It’s a transfer of ownership.

ALL of it. Not just the part you can see or the part that caused the damage, but the deep seeded part, the hidden dark parts.  Those parts that have been so ingrained in your heart they have become patterns of sin. Transfer the burden of your sin to Him. That’s forgiveness.

here’s my favorite part…

3. Snatch ME up, Lord! The SAME WORD in #1 laqach is the SAME WORD here to “receive me!”  Just as you snatched your apology in the first place (quickly and with ownership), ask Him to snatch you up (quickly and with ownership) graciously. I love that He snatches me up graciously.  He sets a good and pleasant estimation of value on me. Even in the midst of a confession that should devalue me, God is totally and completely love.

As I learn to apologize with these key components, I will grasp a bit more the powerful and forgiving love of God.  If He can forgive me, surely I can forgive myself.

And if tomorrow, I can’t forgive myself, I will snatch up my apology and go to God!  I will believe that He has snatched me with such love, acceptance, and grace.  I breathe in His forgiveness and breath out letting it go. It’s not too late to apologize.

Let’s try it tomorrow!

On TUESDAY, we will see what God’s forgiveness DOES TO US. It’s beautifully amazing!

2 more posts left in…

Hosea

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