I heard from a friend this week (after she had made an apology to a pastor and asked his forgiveness) that the pastor was gracious, forgiving, and VERY surprised/grateful.
Why surprised? Why grateful? Because, you see, as he explained:
He had served in ministry for over twenty years and she was the FIRST PERSON to ever apologize to him.
I believe her–but it breaks my heart.
How can it be?
Surely this man had been sinned against at some point.
Hurt relationships; conflict; offenses …
Surely at some point, he was misunderstood, misjudged, treated uncharitably.
How could it be that NO Christian had ever apologized to him?
Oh, friends! It is SO sweet to experience the JOY of genuine, Christ-centered, Christ-exalting reconciliation.
My friend and her pastor experienced it this week.
I have experienced it time and time again when people have lavishly forgiven me.
How I pray that we would ALL begin to confess and forgive to one another—that the world might see that the Father sent the Son and the Father loves them (John 17:20-23!).