I have started a mini-series off on the discussion board with a question about forgiveness: What is your language of apology? There was a quiz and I requested that everyone to take, by the same author who wrote The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman. I would love for you to share your responses if you have not done so to continue to create a dialogue with us. You can take a few minutes to take it if you would be going to the quiz link now. I promise you that it will be eye-opening!
Like I said stated before if Gary Chapman pointed out that there are 5 love languages and people give and receive love in more than one possible way led me to a powerful question. How is it possible for there to be a cookie cutter way of apologizing and forgiving people? I may be late on this realization but I feel blessed at the impact that it has had on me since the Lord spoke to me about it. Not knowing what I was really looking for yet knowing someone penned this topic I did a google search on “language of apology” and to my surprise there it was another Gary Chapman book, Languages of Apology (now entitled, When Sorry Isn’t Enough).
If you remember the 3-part series on Anesthesia spoke on the self-prescribed defense mechanisms that we used in order to protect ourselves from being hurt. Allowing the Lord to perform surgery on our hearts will cause us to go back to the root of some actions and issues of our heart. We will find ourselves to be the biggest person holding our own selves back so we have to let the little girl (or boy) go within us.
This has led me to how this particular study has come up for me. I was dealing with a lot of strong blows to my heart with people who are really close hurting my feelings this year. The way I’m used to protecting my heart from being hurt is to brush it off and not think about it - at all. They would apologize and I would do the same. Yet, I felt there was a bit of a disconnect. In my mind, as long as I said I was sorry and I owned up to my mistakes then it was ok. But that was not the case all the time.
Going to the very basics of what it means to forgive (according to Merriam-Webster) is to give up resentment of or claim of requital for; to grant relief from payment of; to cease to feel resentment against (an offender). The etymology of "forgive" says to give, grant, allow, pardon (an offense) completely give; to give up desire or power to punish. Forgiveness: the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.
Forgiveness is a noun but to forgive is a verb an action word as we can see by the many definitions. It is something that has to be decided upon, set in motion and put to work by you or the person you are offering your apology to. It's nothing that anyone owes us yet when it is granted we feel relief and the sense of fear of losing someone is erased. Trust is being rebuilt and the strength of a relationship is growing even more.
Accepting Responsibility, Expressing Regret, Genuinely Repent, Make Restitution, Request Forgiveness are the results of the quiz and assuming that you have taken the quiz you will see what category you fall. More importantly, whatever category you may not have scored high in is someone else's high scoring category. Not to reduce life down to a set of numbers, but seeing your placement and the given explanations, you either have some peace for finally being able to put a name to your thought process or shock because of how eye-opening it may have been to describe you to a tee.
It is my prayer that as we go through this journey of each category forgiveness that we take some personal time with the Lord and really allow Him to work through some areas of our heart.
Pray with me as we embark on this leg of the journey:
Heavenly Father, I thank You for this day that You have made for You and I can commune and show forth Your glory. I am presenting my heart to You so that You can lead me to a place of freedom in Your love. I ask that You help me forgive just as You have forgiven me and forgive me for thinking that everyone forgives the same way as I do. You are too big for my limited thinking and perception of what reality I’m living in. Thank You for providing me an opportunity to cast my cares at your feet and most of all having the capacity to receive them. My heart is not too broken, damaged or forgotten about to be healed by Your love. I am ready to be healed, set free and delivered. I committed not to quit as You lead me by the still waters and the reflection of my heart will pull me into Your presence all the more. I am already changed. I am already walking in joy. I am already walking in victory. Your will be done, in my heart, as it is in heaven. In Jesus name.
Do you care to share what are some of your expectations of this series? If so, please comment below!