Why is it so hard for some people to say, “Will you please forgive me?” Often it is fear. Fear of losing control. To ask a person to forgive you means you put the future of the relationship in their hands. Fear of rejection. When you ask for forgiveness the other person may say, “No”. For some of us our greatest fear is the fear of rejection.
Or, it could be fear of failure. For these people, admitting wrong is equivalent to saying, “I’m a failure.” Understanding the Scriptures can remove all of these fears. The Scriptures say, “All have sinned.” To admit that you have done wrong is simply to admit that you are human. Requesting forgiveness is the first step toward healing.
It is always right to request forgiveness. It is never right to demand forgiveness. The husband who says, “I told you I’m sorry. What more can I say?” is demanding forgiveness. He is not likely to receive it. None of us respond well to demands. Forgiveness is a choice to lift the barrier and let the other person back into our lives.
There is always the risk that they will hurt us again. Some people have been hurt so many times that they are reluctant to forgive. However, without forgiveness, the relationship cannot grow. If you are in a stalemate, I urge you to apologize and request forgiveness. Then, give the other person time to process their pain. In the mean time, pray and love.
Adapted from Dr. Gary Chapman’s Love Language Minute. Dr Chapman is a best selling author and a pastor. One of his books The 5 Love Languages is well known, and a very good read!