Let’s Talk

What Do I Say Exactly . . . to be a Repairer
of the Breach? Part 4

Q. You’ve talked recently about being repairers of the breach. Would you share more examples of what this looks like?

A. Let’s Talk! Reconciliation is a big subject for any time of the year, but the broken places seem to show up even more during the holidays. If you pray, think about asking for wisdom for what exactly to say and what not to say to others.

You might also want to choose to respond and not to react to difficult people or difficult subjects. When we react, we get defensive and start unraveling. Whereas, if we choose a response that is measured, fair, and truthful—and spoken in love—repair and restoration have a presence.

Walking away or physically removing yourself from a verbal conflict is often a good choice too. It can be a strong message, not a sign of weakness. For years I have shared with small children that if they are in a pressured situation, it’s okay to just turn and walk away. One doesn’t have to say a word, or if that feels awkward, say, “excuse me” as you leave.

Many times we wait for the “someone” who has been “most at fault” to initiate forgiveness. But, consider this: who is in the stronger position to initiate forgiveness? Maybe it’s you. The stronger, the more mature one can start the conversation!

For Deeper Reflection

James 1: 5 and 19 “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him . . . . everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”
Proverbs 16:7 “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.
You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com

Let’s Talk

Forgiveness in the New Year

Q. As I start the New Year, what can I do to help my relationships?

A. Let’s Talk! A great start would be to make sure you have cleared up any issues in your relationships. Maybe you have been faithful to take care of clearing up your part of the problem and asking forgiveness immediately “after” — but if not, here’s a review of the language you might want to use, PLUS a new important question at the end.

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“I was wrong to [name the offense such as “to be so unloving” or “to be so thoughtless” or “to hurt your feelings,” etc.] and I am so sorry. Will you forgive me?” Then you wait for the answer. Here is the new question I learned a few weeks ago from my dear friend Martha Wolfe. You ask, “IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE?”

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How utterly stunning! When you take the initiative like this in your relationships, you have gone beyond an act of obedience and are bravely going to a vulnerable place of restoration.

Martha had a few additional thoughts: “When you go to the person you are asking forgiveness from, make sure you have already forgiven the individual in your heart for any offense. This makes your heart clear ahead of time toward the person. You can now concentrate on asking forgiveness for YOUR wrongs. Of course unexpected things can come up in the conversation and you will deal with those as they happen.”

It’s both terrifying and freeing all in one to settle issues in a relationship, but if your heart really wants to restore that relationship, the resolution is worth it. Have a brave week!

Deeper Reflection

Ephesians 3:20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us . . . .”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com