Do we need to repent?
The blogosphere is all up in arms over Cindy Jacobs telling Native Americans and Mexicans that they need to repent for the idolatry of their ancestors. You can read various takes on it here, here, and here, for starters. Or you can go straight to the source and watch the video on Vimeo. Yes, I watched the entire ten minutes.
Naturally, this video has caused quite a ruckus. Maybe that’s because of some inflammatory statements, such as:
If you have in your bloodline any animus, any Native American blood, for instance, not all Native Americans worshipped the serpent or crocodile, many did, but you might want to renounce that and repent for the generational iniquity.
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.
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.