Today I’m thankful for…
correction. I don’t know about anyone else but when an issue is presented to you, I believe the ball is in your court to decide if you would like to repair the relationship or not. In fact, I’ll take it a step further and say that it’s your responsibility to decide whether or not it is important enough to you to respond or react.
Last night I was faced with this. It wasn’t an earth shattering issue but the fact that someone I hold dear brought it to my attention that something I did hurt them, I had the responsibility to weigh it. So I focused on the value of the relationship, not if my actions were right or wrong, not trying to rationalize my actions and/or diminish their feelings. So I decided that the relationship was valuable and let them know that I had no intention of hurting their feelings, I apologized and just like that…relationship restored. I appreciated the fact that the person cared enough to confront me about it. Most people would’ve thought that it was too minor to approach me but still would’ve held resentment against me. I decided last night that even if it’s something small that I’m going to be quick to repent, whatever it is. Repenting doesn’t cost me anything but pride and I’m cool with that. This makes me think of a couple of verses in Matthew:
You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.- Matthew 5:21-26
In the Jewish culture, there’s a concept called Teshuvah which means turning and is understood as a turning from sin back to God; however, Teshuvah is most often translated as repentance. A part of Teshuvah is Matthew 5:23, where it talks about making amends with your fellow man before presenting your offering.
Jesus died on a cross. His arms were stretched to touch man and hung vertically in relation to the Father and Jesus is our example. He died to Himself (whether He was right or wrong) so that man could live, shouldn’t we do the same?
Maimonides, a Rabbi and Philosopher, sets out the steps for teshuvah. When we make a mistake, we are to go through the process step-by-step and the result is forgiveness and growth.
- Step 1: Stop.
Stop whatever destructive action you are engaged in. If, for example, you are losing your temper with others, stop.
- Step 2: Regret.
You should indeed feel regret for your error. It’s wrong to lose your temper as you are likely to hurt others in doing so.You should be sorry for the harm you caused.
- Step 3: Verbalize.
Explain your regret out loud to God. This doesn’t have to be done at synagogue, and it doesn’t have to be in Hebrew. Talk to God in at least an audible whisper, not just in your head; of course, God knows already, but you need to hear it.Tell Him that you are sorry for whatever you did wrong. If your actions harmed other people then you have to make amends. After losing your temper, you must go to your friend and ask his forgiveness.
- Step 4: Make a Plan.
How can you be sure that the mistake won’t happen again? Make a practical plan of action. If you know that certain subjects are sources of conflict between you and your friend, perhaps make a pact to avoid those subjects for the sake of
Would you have prefered to not have to conversation? Do you the weigh value of your relationships? Are you the type of person that’s quick to apologize whether you’ve done something wrong or not? Do you see any value in apologizing for something you didn’t do or intend to do? What do you think about the concept of Teshuvah? Let me know in the comments.
Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you tomorrow for day 16.