A veteran missionary commented that he was “amazed” that Sergey sought out Zhanna after a meeting to apologize to her because “so few Christian leaders do that today.” But why would Sergey’s apology be “amazing” since Sergey had indeed sinned against Zhanna?
Instead of simply apologizing, Sergey should have also asked for Zhanna’s forgiveness. That is one mark of a disciple of Jesus Christ (James 5:16), and it helps reconcile us to one another.
A disciple who seeks forgiveness is:
- Convicted of sin. As tempting as it is to rationalize, blame, or not own up to our sin—whether it’s being rude, unkind, jealous, arrogant, or impatient—the first step is to admit our sin.
- Controlled by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). This produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- Responsive to confrontation. When someone you trust confronts you, do you listen?
- Feeding on the Word. The Word of God cleanses, renews, reveals, convicts, directs, teaches, transforms, leads, and restores! Ephesians 6:17 describes God’s Word as our sword of the Spirit.
Our loving and righteous God gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5,6). Is there someone you may need to humbly ask, “Will you forgive me?” Is there anyone you may need to help or encourage in this area?