Skip to main content
Home2007 logo lg Home2007 logo lg

How to ask for forgiveness

When I was headed to Haiti two months ago, I thought I saw him at a restaurant and I got a queasy feeling. Funny how 30 years later, I’m still bothered by it. Dario, if you’re out there, I forgive you. You made my life miserable for an entire year at a time in life when I was vulnerable. You…
By Seth Barnes
Home2007 logo lg
When I was headed to Haiti two months ago, I thought I saw him at a
restaurant and I got a queasy feeling. Funny how 30 years later, I’m
still bothered by it. Dario, if you’re out there, I forgive you. You
made my life miserable for an entire year at a time in life when I was vulnerable. You
used your position for personal gain. And ultimately I had no
recourse but to hire another board of directors and fire you. Of course,
for that, you probably need to forgive me. We had a messy relationship that ended badly, you and me.

 

The fact is, we’re all in need of forgiveness and
we all need to forgive. If we could just learn how to do it, life would
be so much better. And that’s why I recommend 

Peacemakers. They help you work through the inevitable conflict life brings using biblical principles. I list below their “Seven A’s of Confession.” Let me encourage you to go through them. Commit these principles to memory and implement them and you will find that Jesus gives you peace.

If we admit our wrongs in a thorough, biblical manner, we open the door for forgiveness and meaningful change.
 

Address everyone involved. Confess to each person who has been affected by your wrongdoing (Ps. 41:4; Luke 19:8).

Avoid ifs, buts, and maybes. Consciously delete words that dilute your confession, excuse your conduct, or shift blame to others (1 John 1:8-9). As Dr. Tony Evans says, “If it contains an excuse, it isn’t a confession.”

Admit specifically what you did wrong. Don’t hide behind vague generalities. Specifically identify your sinful attitudes (pride, selfishness, greed, envy, bitterness, ingratitude, stubbornness, etc.) and actions. Then admit that what you did was wrong because it violated God’s will (Ps. 51).

Apologize. Acknowledge and express sorrow for the fact that your actions hurt the other person. Ask the person to explain how he or she was affected by your actions.

Accept the consequences. Explicitly accept full responsibility for what you have done. This may require fulfilling a promise, making restitution, or losing benefits or privileges (Luke 15:19; 19:8).

Alter your behavior. Commit to changing your behavior in specific ways in the future with God’s help (Prov. 28:13).

Ask for forgiveness. Finally, ask the person you wronged to forgive you, and, if necessary, allow time for that person to work through his or her feelings (Gen. 50:17).

Comments (11)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

about team