A. Pray and ask God where you need a
clear conscience. See: "
B. If you have sinned, then you are to acknowledge your sin toward God
and ask for His forgiveness. (Psalm 51:3-4, I John 1:9).
C. If you have offended someone else, you need to contact them.
1. Personal, face to face contact is
generally the best.
a. In a written letter or email, people
may read some unintended between the lines or keep the letter to show
b. Phone "texts" and may easily be misunderstood.
c. Phone calls may be acceptable in some cases but may also be
2. You should generally not use the expression, "I am sorry."
a. "I am sorry" may express empahy.
b. However, it may not express wrong on your part, but only that you
are sorry for the results.
c. You have probably said, "I am sorry" previously and it did not carry
3. You should verbally express your acknowledgment of your wrong
(words, actions, attitudes, or motives.)
a. "I said the wrong thing."
b. "I did the wrong thing."
c. "I had the wrong attitude."
d. "I had the wrong motive when ...."
4. You should not
to try to
balance the scales.
a. Don't say, "If you hadn't ..., I
would not have responded that way.
b. Don't give excuse by saying, "I was too tired or too ...."
c. You are only responsible to deal with what you have done and not to
correct them for their offense at this point.
5. After acknowledging your wrong, you should ask for forgiveness.
a. Forgiveness is not deserved.
b. Forgiveness is the word "give" in the middle.
c. The means that you are pleading for forgiveness.
6. If you have stolen something, you should be willing to make
restitution for the item stolen.
a. This means that you are willing to
replace what is stolen.
b. It also means that usually restitution is more than the original
value of the item stolen.
7. You should prayerfully choose the proper time and place to contact
8. You should be prepared for a negative response.
a. You may have caught them off guard.
b. You may have caught them in a bad mood.
c. They may not want to forgive you, because if they forgive you, they
may have to look at what they have done to offend you.
9. If they are not willing to forgive you, give God time to work on