A Clean Slate

I love the week between Christmas and the new year. All the Christmas preparations are over. We have enough leftovers in the fridge that I don’t have to cook unless I feel like it. The garden (and its weeds) is blanketed with snow. Chores are at a minimum. It’s a time to relax and reflect, to take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and clear my head of all to-do lists.

The end of the year is traditionally a time for assessing the year and resolving to better. (Have you ever noticed that we never seem to be satisfied with just maintaining the status quo?)

I’m impressed by those friends who have five, ten, and even twenty-year plans for their lives. I’m not that clairvoyant. But I do like to compare the ending year with the goals I made last January, and then look ahead to what I might accomplish in the coming year.

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How to Say “You’re Forgiven”

Last time I wrote about how to say “I’m sorry.” Even if all our relationships are going great right now, I’m sure there will come a time when it’s very important that we know how to apologize.

But what happens when the shoe is on the other foot, and someone is apologizing to us? What happens when they ask for forgiveness—and maybe we’re not quite willing to forgive?

As important as it is to acknowledge our guilt and repent both to God and to the people we’ve hurt, it is equally essential to let go of the wrongs others have done to us.

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How to Say “I’m Sorry”

We probably all have memories of our parents sending us to apologize to someone: “Go to Grandma and tell her you’re sorry!” Most of the time, “sorry” was the last thing we were feeling. We were frustrated, angry, and decidedly unrepentant.

Now that we’re grown ups, there are still times when we need to go apologize to someone. Perhaps we’ve intentionally hurt them. Perhaps it was an honest mistake, and we didn’t mean to cause them distress. To me the biggest frustration is when someone is mad at me and I have no idea what I’ve done to offend them. But whatever the cause, if someone else believes we have done them wrong, then it is up to us to take the first step toward reconciliation.

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