Recently (in)courage had a post titled Understanding the Language of an Apology and it’s been one that’s stuck with me. Jennifer Schmidt explained that similar to love languages we all have a certain way we are able to best receive an apology, and we all have a certain way we extend apologies.
As I read through the five explanations I recalled a few arguments Ordell and I had had in recent years and could easily see the repetition of them was possibly linked to the inability to receive an apology.
Now, if you are thinking something along the lines of “If they can’t accept my apology that’s on them.” then you aren’t alone. I see both sides of this discussion and at the same time realize people are creatures of habit. Those who compromise first have the least stress. Another way to look at it is good old Dr. Phil’s question, do you want to be happy, or do you want to be right?
There was another thought that jumped into my head while processing this blog post. Is it possible that the wilderness of silence from God is brought on by this same issue of apology?
Now, stick with me here. One thing that humans are consistently guilty of is humanizing God. We are wounded by situations that don’t go the way we expect and our response is to blame God. Further, we demand to know why our lives are not playing out the way we planned. When we are wounded we expect apologies, and for many, the form of apology we seek from God is a change in direction to get our own way. We disguise this demand in words such as “provision” and “blessing” but the expectation is the same. We will reconcile when things move our way.
Here’s the thing, though, God doesn’t need to apologize to us. He’s not human, he’s our creator and he doesn’t make mistakes! David acknowledge’s God’s perfection in Psalm 18
As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
Wounds hurt, no doubt. I’m guilty of waiting for the apology to look a certain way in friendships, my marriage, and in my relationship with God. I’ve never thought of my wilderness including this aspect, but now I can’t deny it. My “why me” and “when” has been about life looking a certain way and an acknowledgement that “my way” is right. What am I really asking for in that moment? An apology, admitting of wrong and right. What does that boil down to? An apology. When my thoughts move this way the edge of the wilderness is drawing near yet again. My demands will go unmet because they are inaccurate. When I turn and become the one to apologize for forgetting who is perfect and who is not life will move forward, as it was always meant to.