Rules for Fair Fighting: Rule #8

Rev. Dr. Steven Koster

September 6, 2018


Can you freely offer apologies, or will you apologize only if you were proven completely, utterly wrong?

No one enjoys admitting his or her contribution to a conflict. But if we are honest, we will acknowledge our faults and strive to repent. Each of us are imperfect individuals trying to live in community, and we are bound to mess it up sometimes. We can hurt each other without even being aware of what we are doing.

Apologizing requires humility, and apology cannot happen when we refuse to admit any portion of blame.

Sometimes we have much that needs confessing, and at other times our contribution is more by omission. Sometimes all we can say is, “I am so sorry that my comment hurt you” or “I am so sorry that I didn’t notice how this was impacting you.” Even if we would make the same choices over again in a particular setting, we still need to say, “I’m sorry,” if only to acknowledge our partner’s pain.

PROV. 28:13 — He who conceals his sin does not prosper, but whoever confesses them and renounces them finds mercy.

Apologizing jump-starts the important work of reconciliation. It shows the other person that we care about them and our relationship more than we care about winning.

Can we humble ourselves and confess our short-comings?

About the author — Rev. Dr. Steven Koster

Steven Koster is a writer, speaker, and producer with Family Fire. Formerly the Director of ReFrame Media, Family Fire's parent organization, Steven currently serves at Grace Church and consults on ministry through The Joshua Lab. He also leads a hospitality ministry at The Parsonage Inn and enjoys family tree research as time allows. Steven and his wife Deb enjoy leading marriage retreats and family seminars to encourage people in their most intimate relationships. The Kosters are the parents of three awesome young adults and reside in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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