Seems some of you readers are getting into the power of apology. Yesterday I spoke to a group of business people on meeting and exceeding customer/client's expectations. The power of apology came up in that message also. "Stuff" is going to happen in all of life. Someone is going to be disappointed, hurt, angry, etc. What will you do as leader, business person, parent, spouse, friend or church member when you have wronged them or disappointed them?
The Power of Apology is key to freedom in Christ. Free to live, thrive and fulfill our destinies.
I discovered a great book on the five basic elements to an apology. Dr. Jennifer Thomas and Dr. Gary Chapman have organized their great wisdom along the lines of his Love Language series.
They call them the five languages of apology. I found this interesting because I have found when I have tried to apologize to some people it becomes quite complicated to be understood in love. Thomas and Chapman have concluded that each person has a primary apology language, and one of the five speaks more deeply to them emotionally than the other four. If you don’t speak their language, they may consider your apology insincere.
I've got to confess to you readers. I had difficulty "getting" the 5 Love Languages book by Dr. Chapman. Maybe it was because I went through it in my own private study time, instead of in a group. But I found this study on apology to be quite simple to understand.
According to these authors we can be misunderstood regarding our sincerity if we do not speak the other person's apology language.
Here are their examples.
Someone says, “I’m sorry.” But what you wanted to hear was, “I was wrong.”
They said, “Will you forgive me?”what you wanted to hear was, “What can I do to make this right?”
Many of our apologies come across as insincere because we are not speaking the apology language of the offended person. If couples can learn each other's primary apology language and speak it when they offend each other, forgiveness will be much easier.
5 Languages of Apology
· Expressing Regret – “I’m sorry.” “I feel badly about what I did.”
· Accepting Responsibility – “I was wrong.” “It was my fault.”
· Making Restitution – “What can I do to make it right?”
· Genuinely Repenting – “I’ll try not to do that again.”
· Requesting Forgiveness – “Will you please forgive me?”
When you apologize, you are trying to make things right. So you say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I know I hurt you and I feel badly about it. Will you forgive me?”
But your spouse says, “How could you do that if you loved me? How can I forgive you when you never do anything to ‘make it right’?" You feel frustrated and don’t know what to do next. The problem is not your sincerity, the problem is that you are not speaking the right apology language.
Which Do You Want to Hear?
Which one of the five languages of apology do you want to hear? That is your primary apology language.
Apologize effectively by learning your spouse's apology language and speaking it when you know you have offended each other. Ask your spouse, “When I apologize, what do you want to hear from me?”
You may be surprised at their answer, but it will give you their primary apology language. Learning to speak each other's apology language will lead you to a growing marriage.
This has been an excerpt taken from The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas. To find out more about Gary Chapman's resources, visit http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/.
The marriage relationship was the example used, but this wisdom operates in all relationships.
On Tuesday's post I shared with you that on Sunday afternoon I wanted to apologize to a fellow worker, Danielle, for being too "mouthy" and opinionated. I prayed Danielle would forgive me and all would be well. The end was far better than anything I could have imagined.
But I hate to tell Dr's Chapman and Thomas that my main motivaton was that my Heavenly Father would be pleased. I live by leading of the Holy Spirit. I was sensing in my heart that God was calling me to confess my sin, and apologize. I wanted my peace of mind back. I cannot control what someone's response will be. I pray to obey the leadings of God with a clean heart.
My desire was to walk in the love and humility He desires. Since He is Love; I'm convinced He can flow through us the purest, most unselfish love that exists. If our desire is to be one with Him; He will show us the love language, the apology language....the language of agape that will bless everyone in our lives.
Let's walk in forgiving and being forgiven. The same God, who supplied me with love to forgive, will also furnish me with heavenly love to re-build a trusting relationship.
Love “beareth all thing, believeth all things, hopeth all thing, endureth all things”
(1 Corinthians 13:7).