“Please, forgive me.” What makes those three of the hardest words in the English language to put together and say?
When it comes to marriage, children, work, or just any old relationships those words don’t come easy. Do I dare type that it almost seems impossible sometimes to let those words sneak through the lips.
I think I know a reason. At least I know for me. When I have to say, “Please forgive me,” I have to admit I am wrong. There I typed it.
It is hard to say because it is difficult to admit an error. There is no fun in being wrong. Embarrassment lives in the neighborhood of being wrong.
When you are the dad you aren’t supposed to be wrong. When you are the boss doesn’t it show weakness in your leadership if you are wrong? I can’t think of many instances where I like to be on this end of forgiveness. Even when I bold face know I am wrong.
The only problem with not gathering the courage to know and admit I am wrong is the aftermath. Yes, the problem with not going there is the damage to just about every relationship. In the Right to Ruin, I refer to this tendency to destroy while grabbing your right to be right.
I admitted to my friend Beaver Brooks a failure with my son. I knew I must ask to be forgiven. Beaver replied, “Now you get to teach him what it means to be a man.” He was referring to my obligation as a man, a Christian, and father to do what is right. To ask my son to forgive me for my relational error.
Of course, Beaver was right. Asking for forgiveness gives the opportunity to repair relational tears. It shouldn’t be a surprise, but I have seen more benefit from those three words than negative outcomes.
It is not a guarantee of restoration, but I have never seen skipping “the ask”restore relational breaches.
How are you at uttering those words, “Please forgive me”?
How has asking to be forgiving benefited your relationships?