When They Won’t Say Sorry

As long as we wait for someone else to apologize,
it puts both of our lives on hold.
It’s not worth it.

apology, forgive, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, narcissist, littleredsurvivor.com

Chances are that the person who did the most harm is probably the least likely to say “I’m sorry” because they are either too ashamed or didn’t mind what they did in the first place.

There are some people who will never take responsibility for what they’ve done. It would be best for us to forgive them and move on with our lives. How can we forgive people who have stolen from us, lied about us or violated us in some way that seems unforgivable? Many people feel the only way they can forgive another is to watch their abuser suffer. Of course, that’s not forgiveness, it’s revenge.

Revenge might seem like a good idea at the time of our greatest pain, but in the long run, it will only turn bitter. Imagine the worst crime that could be committed. Will revenge take away our pain or restore what we’ve lost? Revenge is simply the continuation of an abusive game called survival of the fittest. The way to heal our pain is to fix our own hearts. Because the wound was inflicted through unhealthy relationships, it can only be healed through healthy love.

Some people are afraid that loving our enemies will make us become doormats to our abusers. They question how love and grace could bring healing.  Because the offense happened in the realm of relationship, the solution to restore our hearts begins with other healthy relationships. Our abusers may never acknowledge what they have done, but Jesus can still give us our healing through other people and His love. We can start by learning the healthy patterns of relationship Jesus taught and demonstrated.

There are four specific things Jesus taught us about conflicting relationships:

1. We have the right to confront those who have harmed us.

If another believer sins against you, 
go privately and point out the offense.
If the other person listens and confesses it, 
you have won that person back.
-Matthew 18:15

2. We are to forgive them over and over and over.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 
“Lord, how many times shall I forgive 
my brother or sister who sins against me? 
Up to seven times?”

  Jesus answered, 
“I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
-Matthew 18:21-22 

3. Despite forgiveness, our family loyalty belongs to those who do God’s will.

While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, 
his mother and brothers stood outside, 
wanting to speak to him. 
Someone told him, 
“Your mother and brothers are standing outside, 
wanting to speak to you.”

He replied to him, 
“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 
Pointing to his disciples, he said, 
“Here are my mother and my brothers. 
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven 
is my brother and sister and mother.”
-Matthew 12:46-50

4. We are to kick the dust off of our feet when others are not interested in what we have to say.

If anyone will not welcome you 
or listen to your words, 
shake the dust off your feet 
when you leave that home or town.
-Matthew 10:14 

This last act of shaking off our feet is never done with malice or contempt. It’s a humble acknowledgment we can’t force someone to change. By shaking off this dust, we are letting go of the burden of trying to set other people straight. Forgiving is like opening a window to bring fresh air into our soul. It empowers us to focus on new, more enjoyable projects. Jesus wants to go beyond being a victim, but He can only do this if we follow His advice and let go.

Jesus gave us healthy boundaries so we could confront with love and forgive each other. We shake off the dust when we are dealing with people who are not willing to reconcile. With the help of Jesus, we can walk away from arguing and revenge. We can forgive whether others tell us they are sorry or not. We can build healthier relationships with people who choose to live with love and respect.

8 comments

  1. Great article. Just this week I had to ask God to forgive me for what a coworker did to me. I asked Him to forgive me of the bitterness and anger O had in my heart for her.

    I did not want my blessings to stop all because my flesh wanted to stay mad.

    I wanted freedom. I refuse to be a prisoner of anyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Desiray,

    I think you are wise! I agree! I don’t want to be the prisoner of anyone either. We can release them and still not reconcile with our abusers. Even God lets people go.

    Peace and Freedom to you!

    Cherilyn

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your site is so visually beautiful and such a restful place to visit. I also like to read your (supernaturally) wise and compassionate responses to comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Shannon,

    That is my goal to make a comforting place for those who have broken hearts, may the information here be a healing balm to all who stop by.

    Peace and freedom to you!

    Cherilyn

    Like

  5. I agree with Shannon. This is all so refreshing, and well said. It’s REAL. Cheers for the grace notes about what Jesus would REALLY do, too!

    I am learning: you have to experience the education narcs provide for yourself in order to understand the depth of the wounds. Visiting this site is has let us (my husband, the family scapegoat, and his “too loyal” wife) understand that we are not alone in the crazy-made gaslit overly dramatic upside down inside out world of Narcissistic Abuse. It helps to come here to read. It’s like being given clean jammies, a hot cuppa tea with biscuits, and a kiss on the forehead as you’re tucked into bed after a hard day by a caregiver who survived, and is WOKE. Forgive us. We have only just begun to awaken, gone NO CONTACT, and the resulting battle of the Flying Monkeys has left us completely winded.

    Thank you for providing this little safe haven, an enlightning spot for us to rest, learn, and catch our breath a bit. Tomorrow … another day, another battle.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Wolfie,

    This comment made my week! That is exactly what I want to provide here–a healing balm and an oasis for the weary travelers on this journey. You are not alone!
    Much love sent to you and your hubby! ❤

    Like

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