Friday, June 8, 2012

Why Should I Ask For Forgiveness?

Some time ago, we instituted a change in our home.  When one of us hurt another member of the family, we would not allow that offender to say "I'm sorry."  We required instead that the one at fault ask the other, "will you forgive me?"  

I had no idea what a powerful difference this would make. It's remarkable that a child (or an adult for that matter) can learn to mouth the words "I'm sorry" like a memorized line in a stage play without ever engaging his or her heart.

The difference in these two phrases goes beyond the words. The difference is actually a shift from a monologue to a dialogue. I can throw the words out and never know (or care) if the apology is received in the heart-disengaged monologue. If, however, I look the offended person in the eye and ask for forgiveness, I must wait to receive his or her response.  And as I have found, it's nearly impossible to "fake" asking for forgiveness.