Forgiving When You Haven’t Been Asked to Forgive

Student suffering for depression in young age

Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.

Michelle (my wife) and I get in the crazy cycle sometimes. You probably know what I mean, right? Basically here’s how it goes down:

  • Step #1- I do something that makes her feel de-valued, unloved, and less than treasured.
  • Step #2- She responds with attitudes, behaviors and “non-verbal communication” that disrespects me.
  • Step #3- Repeat steps 1 and 2 until we’re both so upset, frustrated and disheartened that we don’t even remember what got us into such a dysfunctional situation in the first place.

The million dollar question is this; “HOW DO YOU GET OUT OF THE CYCLE ONCE YOU’RE 2 OR 3 ROUNDS DEEP INTO IT?”

House Rule

This is where our house rule becomes an incredible tool to move toward reconciliation and intimacy instead of living in bitterness and strife. I made this house rule, and I think it’s a pretty good one.

Our house rule is short and simple: “WHOEVER SAYS ‘SORRY’ FIRST, WINS!”

We agree to this rule based on the command from 1 Peter 5:8 which says:

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourself under the mighty hand of God so that you might be exalted at the proper time.”

addictionhope struggling with addiction CoupleI’m not sure about you, but I have enough opponents already working against me. My own flesh that wants to trick me, the world that wants me to buy it’s lies, and the devil tempting me to forsake what I desire most for small moments of synthetic happiness.

Why would I want to add God to list the opponents? How do I get grace? I humble myself!! I say the words, “I am sorry, I was wrong”. I say it to those I have hurt, and I say it to those who have hurt me that I have held a grudge against!

The power over my own sadness and therefore my own culpability to move toward addiction and artificial joy is paradoxically rooted in how I am handling the difficult work of self-leading.

  • When I humble myself under God’s hand – I have emotional energy for others. When I humble myself under God’s hand I desire to show grace not grudges.
  • When I humble myself under God’s hand – I find that He doesn’t condemn me with hate, rather He loves me and empowers me in my brokenness.
  • When I humble myself under God’s hand – I see the world and others in a fresh dimension and I suddenly become a grace conduit in a world desperate for mercy.

What crazy cycle are you in that could be solved with three simple words?

The fun starts once you humble yourself and utter them…”I AM SORRY”

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

How has saying “I’m sorry” and making amends affected your recovery?

Ryan Moffat FamilyAbout the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR

Addiction Hope is proud to announce the initiation of a special Christian Track of blogs and articles to commemorate the blessing of our sister site, Eating Disorder Hope’s 10th year anniversary. Watch for further content noted as “Christian Track”.

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Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 19, 2015
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