When I think about the moment the words flew out of my mouth, I just want to cringe. I wish I could take them back, my intent was pure, but the timing was awful and worse yet, I had misunderstood something earlier in the day…so what does all this equal? I offended my friend.
I was wrong.
She was hurting.
I knew I had to talk about this with her, but first
I needed to do these 4 things:
- Pray- Confess it as sin before God and ask for His forgiveness.
I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]—then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!- Psalm 32:5
He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will obtain mercy- Proverbs 28:13
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].- 1 John 1:9
2. Confess your sin to a trusted friend or mentor (motive check: be careful not to share it with others as a way to gossip or have your "side" heard, notice the verse below says confess your faults, not your "reasons, justifications or others' faults")
Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healedand restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. - James 5:16
3. Pray- Ask God for perfect timing, pray for the words to speak, pray they are received,
In a recent blog “Wisdom Hunters” wrote titled "Timing Matters":
“Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. Mark 8:30
Timing is everything. It is the difference between a strike and a home run in baseball. It determines if a cake is moist and baked perfectly, or hard and dry. Timing in conversation can solicit receptivity or invite defensiveness. It may grow or hinder relationships. When and how we move forward with a decision to change determines the degree of success. Yes, timing in telling the truth is best when anger has subsided and hearts are comforted. Prayer leads to the right time.”
4. Humble Yourself- Ask your friend for forgiveness. Do not try to defend your actions, or talk over the situation again with hopes that he/she will see it from your point of view. Take full responsibility, be humble, and willing to “let go” of the details and your need to be “understood," “right,” or "justified."
He leads the humble in what is right, and the humble He teaches His way.- Psalm 25:9
Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves].- Philippians 2:3
We cannot control how others will respond to us when we ask for forgiveness, but we can know that we are right before God when we have done these things with sincere repentance, and a pure heart.
Written by: Jamie Shaver