The Spiritual Practice of Apologizing

by Christine Sine

Today’s article in the series What is a Spiritual Practice is The Spiritual Practice of Apologizing by T Freeman. “T” describes himself as a dad, husband, self-employed lawyer and apprentice of Jesus.  He is part of a small team planting a church in downtown West Palm Beach Florida.  He blogs at Getting Free

“I’m sorry.”

What a powerful phrase. What an underrated, nonreligious way–available to us all–to cooperate with God’s work in this world.  It’s truly amazing what all can be accomplished by a good apology.  For the one apologizing, the process can (momentarily) defeat one’s pride, halt one’s cooperation with destructive forces and begin one’s cooperation with God.  In apologizing, we overcome our fear of judgment; become vulnerable to another person, and we become truly free from our past.  By themselves, those are pretty significant outcomes–and that’s just for the person apologizing. But simultaneously and more importantly, for the one receiving an apology, the process can be the best available aid to their healing, the opportunity to lose bitterness and pain, and to have their sense of value and what is right and “normal” to be (re)aligned with God’s ideas instead of something much less.  The apology changes the culture into which it is uttered.  It resets the standard of conduct in a relationship from a perverted state, but only by risking the messenger, not the hearer(s).  The apology is literally a powerhouse for progress in the inward and outward work of God, and occasions for its use are everywhere, every day: at home, at work, with our spouses,  friends, neighbors, and children.  Yet, for all its power and frequent opportunity, it is not common, and it is not hard to imagine why.  To apologize goes against the core of all we are and seek apart from Christ.

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