Authentic Apologies Require Trust & Forgiveness

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One interesting aspect can be that we lose trust when someone does us wrong. If they are unable to give an authentic apology – it is almost impossible to regain a place of mutual trust. Trust and forgiveness go hand in hand.

There is no argument that we are impacted by one another’s actions. When the action of another hurts us, we will often receive an apology. However, if the apology seems sincere, with an understanding of the pain they caused, we are often able to accept, forgive, and move on. Part of the power of accepting an apology is that to do so, we are forced to process the hurt.

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That is unless we are choosing to sweep the pain under the rug, brush it off as no big deal. And allow the pain to fester deep inside while we pretend it did not happen. Giving or accepting this kind of apology is meaningless.

Indeed, you may feel strongly that what you are doing is turning the other cheek. And, that this is the loving, gracious thing to do. However, bear with me for a bit and let’s explore where sweeping things under the rug take us.

Turning the other cheek is important and a part of our daily walk to be sure.

Building a real relationship based on turning the other cheek is unlikely to be productive for anyone. Building a lifestyle of choosing to turn the other cheek is something that comes only from Him and deeply felt within ourselves.

A lifetime, whether you are eight or eighty of this overlooking wrongs develops a pattern that does not end. A pattern of grace and mercy overflowing. Or, more often, a pattern of broken relationships that never grew or matured.

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Giving and Receiving Authentic Apologies ~ Includes Learning to Turn the Other Cheek

Does it fall in line with how many times am I to forgive my brother? Yes! If I accept an authentic apology, like truly accept it – I am going to be okay with you hurting me again. I won’t like it of course -but I turned my fresh cheek to you, for this reason, right?

By deciding not to be honest, we begin to perceive ourselves as the victim. In addition, we set a precedent of allowing another person to breach the boundary we need but don’t know how to erect.

 Please understand, often a simple thank you really is enough when receiving an apology.

However, to maintain, or begin an authentic friendship or relationship – to grow together, honesty is needed. It is not ungracious to gently, with compassion express our pain and concern about what transpired. 

An authentic apology acknowledges the hurt my actions, words, or attitude have caused.

A genuine apology will include the following components:

  • openly takes responsibility
  • without pride or excuses asks for forgiveness
  • sets forth actively seeking a changed heart and therefore behavior
  • desires and seeks out to rebuild trust

Moreover, we are doing no one a favor by pretending everything is okay. If we slow down, breathe, and pray – we should be able to find a way to gently, with compassion for our fellow humans, express and articulate the consequences of the hurt inflicted.

Our response in these situations can be life-changing both for ourselves and our offender.

We are both given the gift of knowing each other more deeply, in a more authentic context. Additionally, we show trust in each other when we love enough to hear each other. When we are able to put aside ego long enough to consider another’s perspective, our love and trust grow.

“Furthermore, when a sincere apology is received, it is easier to view the person in a compassionate way. Our heart, mind, and body automatically dial down our “threat alert” signals.”

Reality Reframe
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Our culture, in particular, our Christian culture, does not put much value on authenticity or transparency. Many operate under the assumption that if one’s intentions were not bad, no apology is required. This sort of attitude makes a mockery out of genuine godly grace.

Lastly, we will do well to remember how we respond to those who have caused us offense is vital. 

Forgiveness, the real, actual, genuine stuff that is turning the other cheek is made of – must have trust attached. 

 And when we react in a way that engenders a more significant amount of honesty and openness, we will establish a more profound and empowering way of being and interacting with others.

In conclusion, the more we communicate, the more we give and receive authentic apologies, the closer we become, the better we understand each other – and guess what? The less we need to apologize!

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