Doing Life Together

conversation-799448_1920Jack left work late, didn’t call his wife and missed the school meeting.

When he finally arrived home, he looked at his wife and said, “Don’t start. I’ve had a lousy day!” No apology. He walked away and his wife was angry!

Not a good way to handle the situation. Missing from this interaction was an apology. Jack could have started with, “I am so sorry. I didn’t call you and I know you had to go to the meeting alone.” What a difference that would have made!

Conflict is inevitable. People fight. But when feelings are hurt and an  apology is missing, relationships suffer.

In order to avoid this, it is important to be mindful about the power of apology. When people in relationships decide to approach every disagreement with the idea that they might be wrong, there is an openness to repairing problems.

Apologies have the power to heal brokenness, to repair relationship damage, mend wounded hearts and more. They disarm an angry person, shows respect   to someone who has been hurt and de-escalate conflicts.

Apology also helps to decrease blood pressure and slow down the heart rate that tends to rise when conflict is present. Emotionally, it helps us forgive and move past anger and resentment. It is the glue that keeps people together. When we’ve been wronged, an apology opens the door for reconciliation.

Pastor Rick Warren tells us that 8 words are very powerful in  relationship conflict. If you find yourself in the middle of a fight and say, “I”m sorry. I was only thinking of myself,” watch how the atmosphere changes. Now, of course, you need to be sincere, but when we humble ourselves and acknowledge wrong-doing, relationships begin to heal.

What does it take to apologize? You should feel regret and tell the person how you feel. You should take responsibility for your part in the problem. Then, look for a remedy. What can you do to make amends?

So if there is a broken relationship in your life, consider the power of apology. It could be the thing that kick starts that relationship towards reconciliation.

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