The Word of God commands us to work hard to be at peace with everybody, as much as it depends on us (see Romans 12:18). This means saying the hard word “sorry” and asking for forgiveness from those we have offended. Do you have a hard time reconciling with a person you have offended?
Some of us do, for a number of reasons. One is because of the shame felt by having inflicted pain. Another is the rejection made by the one who was offended, more so if the offense is great. There are some more reasons, but still the Word remains the same: We are not to let any debt remain outstanding, except the one to love another.
Are you having difficulty in reaching out to a person you have greatly offended? Here are some things you can do to reconcile with that person.
1. Pray for the one you offended
First things first, we all know that according to the Bible we should reconcile with the person we have offended before we could come and make our offerings at the altar (see Matthew 5:23-24). Still, we should pray for the person we have offended. God desires mercy, not sacrifice. Thus, we should pray for that person just the same.
Pray to the Lord for wisdom on how to approach the person. Chances are if the offence is great, the offended party might erect defences. Ask the Lord for help in knowing how to approach the person you have offended, and also that God would soften the person’s heart so that you could come and reason together in the spirit of reconciliation.
2. Admit your faults
Be brave enough to man up and accept the responsibility for your faults. Doing this gives you two great benefits: One is that you will be able to approach God and repent of that sin; another is being able to tell the offended person that you are truly sorry and are taking responsibility for the hurt you caused. It is only after this can you ask forgiveness from the person you offended.
3. Reaffirm your love for the person
The best thing to do after asking for forgiveness and receiving it is by reaffirming your love for the person you have hurt (see 2 Corinthians 2:8). Tell the person that you are willing to change your ways, and then follow it up by actually changing your ways.
Repentance is just like this: that we come to God in humble acknowledgement of our sins, asking for His forgiveness, and then by His grace coupled with our commitment we turn away from our sinful ways and live a life pleasing to Him.