Whenever I hear of a situation in which someone asks (insists) that someone apologize as a condition for forgiveness, I get confused. Who is to forgive whom? Does it matter who forgive first? Does the other person have to accept the forgiveness to legitimize the transaction? Is transaction the right word to us?Whew, I give up! Too much language, too much in my head.
Here’s today’s simple thought. I can’t make someone else forgive; I’m only in charge of what I can forgive, which is contingent on what is in my heart. A place to start is to explore the likely possibility that I have to forgive myself. It might be something I have specifically done—that’s the easy part. Very likely it includes an attitude of judgment, superiority, pride, jealousy—you know the list. As Jesus tells us: take the log out of your own eye first.
Then, maybe, but maybe not, say, “I forgive you; please forgive me,” and leave it at that!