Forgiving is one of the hardest things we are called to do. How can we learn to let go of past hurts and choose forgiveness?
Author and marriage expert Dr. Gary Chapman joins Susie to offer truths and steps to forgiving others, as God in Christ forgave us. We talk about When Sorry Isn’t Enough. Dr. Chapman was inspired to write this book after a conversation with counselor Jennifer Thomas, who suggested that, just as people have love languages, they might also have apology languages. He points out that the key to a strong apology is to connect with the person you’ve wounded.
Here are the five categories Susie and Dr. Chapman unpack:
• Express regret. “I’m sorry that I…”
• Accept responsibility. “I was wrong. I shouldn’t have done that.”
• Making restitution. “How can I make this right?”
• Genuinely repenting. “I want to change and do better next time. Help me understand how to do that.”
• Asking for forgiveness. “Will you forgive me?”
Dr. Chapman points out that while a lot of this has to do with how we’re wired, our upbringing factors into it. Our parents teach us how to apologize, and we often pick up their example. If a man grew up without hearing his father apologize, then he will more than likely continue that pattern in his own adult life.
How does this connect to the theme of forgiveness and Holy Week? Scripture calls us to forgive others, “as God in Christ forgave us.” How does God in Christ forgive us? He placed both our sin and our punishment onto His Son so that neither would keep us from Him. Because we are fully forever forgiven, we are able to extend that same grace to others. Forgiving someone does not release them from the offense, but it means that we let God bring conviction or judgment to their heart.
Are you wounded? Look to the cross. Have you wounded? Look to the cross.
Here’s the link to the book Susie referenced during the program today.
Theme Song: Offering (plus selections from His Passion CD)