From Conflict to Peace: What to do When I've Done Wrong

How to apologize, for kids and adults:

1.      State what I’ve done without minimizing, blaming, or excusing.

2.      Show empathy for the impact of my actions by explaining my understanding of the damage done, the trust you betrayed, and how I might feel if it had been done to me.

3.      Express how I will do things differently in the future if the same situation arises again, then seek to rebuild trust by following through on this.

Daily Reflections

1.    Why do we hide? Perhaps we want to appear right and will feel sheepish, foolish, and weak if we apologize. This perspective is self-deception. “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

2.    A willingness to admit to wrongs is a hallmark of the Christian life. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” I John 1:8

3.    Insincere apologies are inconsistent with Scripture. God is forgiving and graceful of many things, but that grace is not given without honesty and sincerity on our parts. “And the Lord said: ‘Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.’” Isaiah 29:13-14

4.    Seeking forgiveness begins with God, not the person we’ve wronged. By seeking our sense of forgiveness and restoration from them, we place an undue burden on them. “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.” Psalm 51:3-4

5.    The people in scripture who were the most faithful were also forgiven much. “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47

6.    Repentance leads to a better life and salvation on many levels. “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning[a] and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’ But you were unwilling.” Isaiah 30:15

7.    It is the responsibility of the person who broke the trust to repair the trust. “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” Matthew 3:8