“Sorry for the way I acted the other day.”
“Don’t worry about.”
“Sorry for not remembering your birthday.”
“No big deal.”
“Sorry for hurting you.”
So often if someone apologizes or asks for forgiveness we just simply say something like “It’s okay” or “Don’t worry about it.”
“It’s no big deal!” we reply.
Well, when we respond in that way, we’re right; it really is no big deal!
But as I had a conversation with a friend tonight I began to wonder … what if it’s supposed to be a big deal?
When we reply with the “Don’t worry about it” attitude, the action just slips by forgotten and maybe even just excused, allowing that person to do it again. However, when we reply with the words, “I forgive you”, a beautiful thing happens… we offer grace.
As strange as those three words may feel crossing our tongues, they are truly life-giving. They don’t let the misdeed slip by, but they also don’t condemn and pour on guilt. Instead, those three not-so-simple words say, “What happened was wrong, but there is grace.”
I saw first hand tonight how hard it can be to replace our normal response of “it’s okay” with “I forgive you”, but I also saw first hand, from the giving and receiving side, what a beautiful thing it is when we do!
Sometimes it just seems simpler to forget an offence, but why just forget when we have a chance to forgive? It doesn’t fit in our culture. It doesn’t seem natural, but oh it’s a beautiful thing!
I plan to try to do this more and more in my life. Will you join me in trying this out too?