Please forgive me for sinning against you
Okay, I wrapped up chapter six about talking with others about emotional, even spiritual pain in the past. Now this is a bit different.
To start with, I have done this very thing—asking someone I harmed in the past to forgive me, and to be honest I am experiencing some unpleasant emotions right now. I recall a time or two when I was glad I made the confession and asked for forgiveness, but then I did not adequately calculate the repercussions and caused further harm. It is very unpleasant to even recall those instances.
To engage someone whom I have damaged in some way or another in the the process of confession and requesting forgiveness requires careful consideration. For one thing, we must be sure we are doing this for the other persons sake and not our own. It is not enough just to get things off one’s chest, so to speak. Our concern is for the other person who has been sinned against.
Some examples first: A person who has been cheated financially, taken sexual advantage of, been defamed due to rumors or lies, ignored or rejected under difficult circumstances, promises ignored with loss following, and many more, are some of the conditions when asking for forgiveness is acceptable. However, asking for forgiveness might just open up the wounds again. Sometimes ignored and forgotten is best.
But, and this is a big but, asking forgiveness can go a long way to healing relationships gone awry.