- Dan Reiland
Why is it so hard to say I’m sorry?The quick answer is pride. But there has to be more to it. It’s about “the principle”! How many times have I heard that? Or I’ve said it myself. The principle of the matter is often in play, but underneath the principle, it can also be about the need to be right. It results in the lack of willingness to budge even for the greater good. Apologizing isn’t that easy, and it’s not always clear about who should and when. But the lack of an apology is always harmful. Continued offense and hurt without apology leaves an unmistakable wake in its path.
- Marriages are hurt.
- Businesses are wrecked.
- Leadership is weakened.
- When a leader won’t apologize, the mission is placed in jeopardy.
- When a leader won’t apologize, the team is hurt.
- When a leader won’t apologize, his or her influence is diminished.
- A sincere apology requires that you mean it, and that comes from the heart.
- A sincere apology infers some kind of change will take place.
- A sincere apology requires inner initiative rather than an outer prompting.
1) Embrace Humility Over PrideJesus exemplified humility; it was clearly the disposition of his heart. Lucifer demonstrated pride. Pride is part of our fallen nature, and we all experience it, but we don’t have to surrender to it. We can embrace humility daily, and if we mess up, we start fresh again the next day.
2) Place Submission Over DominanceLeaders carry authority, and we could even say power. But we were never called to be domineering. Jesus always lived in submission to the Father’s will. Anyone who is overly forceful, or takes advantage of a title, is misusing the authority that has been transferred to them.
3) Choose Relationship Over RightI have stumbled over this one more than once. I was right. I know I was right. Have you been there? But in most cases, me proving I’m right is far less important than sustaining the relationship. If there is no harm to the church overall, and all I sustain is a temporarily bruised ego, then I need to be “bigger” and just let it go.
Placing the value of a relationship over the need to be right encourages an apology to come quickly.A healthy relationship is always a two-way street, which adds another part to an apology. For example, how we respond when someone adds “Will you forgive me?” to their apology. That question can sometimes make a person feel awkward. Like, “God has already forgiven you, who am I to forgive you. Many scriptures teach us to forgive, such as one of my favorites Ephesians 4:32.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32