On our last blog post, we dealt with the subject of roadblocks to forgiveness. One final roadblock comes as a suggestion from the book “The 5 Languages of Apology.” Written by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas, the authors suggest that because we respond differently to love languages, we also respond in certain ways to languages of apology.
If we don’t hear the correct apology, that becomes a barrier to forgiveness and keeps us stuck in the past.
We may have a primary apology language and a secondary language. When seeking an apology, we can ask the offender for a particular type of apology. Then both of us know what the boundaries are and how to move toward forgiveness.
The languages of apology include:
1. Express Regret: say “I’m sorry” without any excuses or reasons. A genuine expression of true regret. Behavior also needs to mirror these words.
2. Accept Responsibility: say “I was wrong” and again, with no excuses or personal justification. Genuinely accept responsibility for the failure.
3. Make Restitution: show strong efforts to make amends and right the wrong. Ask, “How can I make amends?” Be specific. Make it right.
4. Genuinely Repent: desire to modify the behavior with a dedicated plan for change and action steps for that plan. This is not an immediate fix. It takes time to see the results of this type of apology.
5. Request Forgiveness: ask specifically for forgiveness about that particular offense and the wrong that has been done.
When we don’t receive the correct apology, it is difficult to move toward forgiveness. This indicates that true forgiveness is based on communication and relationship.
Often, we will never receive any type of apology from our offenders. That’s when we need to release it to God as the Judge, know that He is the vindicator and let Him take care of it in His time.
Forgiveness is difficult, and it is a process. But without it, we cannot move forward – away from the wrong done to us and toward becoming the women God has created us to be.
Only God can truly forget. We can’t do that, but we can choose to forgive and embrace a new soul focus that makes us better and keeps us living a joyful life.
©2013 GateWay of Hope Ministries