During the early days of marriage, I was an expert at holding grudges and keeping malice. but over time I saw I was wasting my time and energy on things that does not matter. I had to accept that try hard as I may, my husband will never behave or think like me because he is his own person. Instead of saying sorry he helps out with house chores or he becomes chatty. Initially I wanted the sorry, but with time, I lost interest even in the sorry. because those things I considered as slights on his part didn’t matter anymore.
Those who know me already know that even if you say sorry, you have to tell me why you are sorry. Even my children are learning to explain all their actions and thought process. To my way of thinking that will help you realize what you have done. If you understand why you are sorry, you will not repeat it.
Recently, my brother did something which pissed me off. He refused saying sorry; rather he went to wash my car, something he does only under duress. I knew that was his way of apologizing but I wanted the sorry… then I came across this on UCB daily devotional
“…Here’s something you need to know in order to move forward. The person who hurt you may never offer an apology in the manner you desire. After Jacob cheated his brother Esau out of his birthright, things got so bad between them that Jacob went to live with his Uncle Laban in Haran.
Later in life, when both brothers had become wealthy and successful in their own right. Jacob decided to seek reconciliation with his brother. At first Esau refused to accept his brother’s gifts. but when Jacob persisted, ‘Esau finally accepted the gift’ (Gen 33v. 11 NLT). Notice, Jacob never said, ‘I’m sorry I stole your birthright; please forgive me.’ Basically he said, I’d like to try and make amends.’
At this point Esau showed real maturity by valuing his relationship with his brother over his right to exact revenge. So the family was united.
There’s a lesson here. God wants you to grow up and exercise spiritual maturity. You can’t control what others do; you can only control your response. Furthermore, if you insist that someone apologise to you – in a certain way – the relationship may never be healed. As a result, you’ll be left holding a grudge. And holding a grudge is like holding a hot coal; it will keep burning you until you let it go. For example, you may want your husband to apologise for his behaviour. But if instead he buys you a gift or does something extra nice for you, respond with grace instead of judging either his methods or his motives. In other words ‘close the account’ and move forward…” UCB DAILY DEVOTIONAL
There is nothing clearer than this. I am learning and remembering to accept apologies no matter how it is given, not there yet but I am a work in progress.
Do we hold unto our view to prove a point?
Have we ‘closed the account’ without making others realize our way of apology is more satisfying to us?
What grudge have we being holding unto because apology was not rendered our way or on our terms?
Are we exercising spiritual maturity the way God wants us to on this issue?