Sitting at a small kitchen table in Deering, Alaska, Bro Martin began to counsel Larry and Suzanne* who were at the point of divorce. After listening to many grievances, Bro Martin asked a straightforward question to Larry, “Have you apologized to her?” To which he responded, “I don’t do that!” His prompt and bold answer revealed the attitude of his heart. With this preface, I would like to delve into what apology is and what it accomplishes within our lives.
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
II Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
We can’t coax into true repentance. Bro Martin testified later that He breathed a prayer to God upon hearing the Larry's harsh words. As the presence of the Lord softened his heart, a change took place. And this brings us to our next point on what apology is,
- Apology is humility in action
Larry looked over at his wife and began to say things, by his own testimony, he had never said before. He began to pour his heart out in apologizing for his insensitivity to her needs along with much more. His apology revealed the humility of his heart.
- Apology bonds hearts together
On this day in Deering, Alaska, Bro Martin witnessed the bond God put between Larry & Suzanne as true apology took place. Where there was extreme tension changed into genuine peace and joy.
- Apology opens the way for God’s grace to reach the life
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Larry & Suzanne were recipients of God’s grace in a special way that day. While we were in Alaska this past time, we got word that they are still together and at this point, training for the ministry! To God be all the glory!
- Apology frees the guilty conscience and opens the passageway whereby more apology can take place.
One part of the story, I intentionally left out until this part was that after Larry poured out his heart in asking forgiveness, Suzanne was made to realize her own faults and asked his forgiveness for her wrong attitudes and feelings. Apology deals with the root of the issue, therefore it is freeing and if I could put it this way, addicting. For when you experience the freedom and peace that comes through forgiveness, no act of humility will seem too high a price to pay.
*Names are changed to protect privacy
Please feel free to share further insight and comments concerning your experience and perspective on apology.