May 2012
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Apologies

Mark messed up. He arrived an hour late at a restaurant where he was to meet a friend from church. The friend had already left. Feeling sorry about his mistake, Mark purchased a gift certificate from the restaurant and stopped at a local card shop to search for an apology card. Among hundreds of cards, he was surprised to find only a few “sorry for my actions” cards in an obscure part of the store. He purchased one and gave it to his friend who accepted his apology.

Although apology cards may not be popular, apologies are frequently needed in our relationships. Apologizing is a biblical action. Jesus instructed His followers to make things right with those we’ve offended (Matt. 5:23-24; 18:15-20). And the apostle Paul said, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom. 12:18). Living at peace may require apologies.

Apologies can be hard to make because it takes a spirit of humility to admit our mistake, which may not come naturally for us. But taking responsibility for how we were wrong in a situation can bring healing and restoration to a relationship.

Have you messed up? Swallow your pride and make the first move—even if you can’t find a card to help you say it.

Whenever you offend a friend,
Apologize and make things right;
For if you will admit your wrong,
You may avoid a needless fight. —Sper
The best way to get the last word is to apologize.