HONORING OTHERS ABOVE OURSELVES Friends, I write on subjects that God gives me during my quiet times with him. I bring topics before him, and I try to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Today, was an especially deep, intimate time with Christ where I had an...
HONORING OTHERS ABOVE OURSELVES
Friends, I write on subjects that God gives me during my quiet times with him. I bring topics before him, and I try to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Today, was an especially deep, intimate time with Christ where I had an hour of conversation. It had a lot of dialogue around construction projects at our home. I consulted with God on many projects we have going on here. Patty and I like building things; you could say it is a hobby of ours. One project that is worth discussing is the washer and dryer room.
The project started out fine. The “big idea” was a washer and dryer room for Patty and the staff here. When I start building, the creative juices flowed, and before Patty knew it, I had build an amazing video studio for myself, and the grand washer and dryer room became a small closet as a little part of this grand room. It was the opposite of what Patty had imagined! She loves Pinterest, and had been looking at all these beautiful laundry rooms with built-in cabinets, a place for ironing, and the like. What she ended up with is a washer and dryer in a small closet, and a big room for video work for my business. I was completely oblivious to what I had done, and even now, the full impact of my selfishness is just dawning on me. Ugh. How did I miss all the clues along the way?
HONORING OTHERS REQUIRES LISTENING
If I want to honor God, I have to listen to what God is saying. If I want to honor my wife, I have to listen to what Patty is saying.
I was not listening to Patty, and was not consulting God. The finished project is beautiful from a guy’s perspective: Spacious room that would be the envy of many for a large living room, and maximum conservation of space for that which did not matter: a washer and dryer. I did not take Patty’s desires into consideration, and produced something other that what she wanted. Today, we agreed that I would remedy this wrong, and I am excited about a new project, and so is she! I repented for my sin of selfishness, received forgiveness from God, and plan on sharing this blog post with her, and seek her forgiveness by making amends.
Making amends goes way beyond saying “I’m sorry” or “Would you please forgive me?” When we do wrong, we must take actions to make things “right.” To right the wrong we have done always takes effort. Amends are not about merely bandaging a wound, but rather healing it completely. This process may involve significant self-reflection, honest conversation, and tangible action. In essence, making amends is not just about repairing a broken relationship; it is about fostering growth in ourselves and others.
Let’s start with understanding the idea of amends itself. The term amends originates from the Old French word “amender,” which means ‘to change, alter, improve, or correct.’ In the context of our relationships, it signifies restoring or correcting our actions, attitudes, and words that have harmed others or the relationship.
Making amends is an active process, a commitment to change. It means acknowledging our mistakes, accepting responsibility for them, and taking concrete steps to correct our actions. This process starts with introspection – understanding our actions and their consequences on others.
In my case with Patty, the realization of the mistake was the first step. By understanding how my decisions impacted her, I gained the insight needed to accept my responsibility. But this realization alone was not enough; it demanded further action. I needed to show Patty that I had understood and accepted my mistake, and was willing to correct it.
Making amends is also about transformation. It’s not enough to revert back to our old behavior after making amends. It’s about adopting new behavior that prevents us from repeating the same mistakes. This may require us to alter our attitudes, develop empathy, or acquire new communication skills. In my case, it required learning to consult God in all decisions and listen attentively to Patty’s ideas and feelings.
AMENDS IS NOT A ONE TIME ACTION
Making amends is a continual process of personal growth and development, a journey of becoming more respectful, compassionate, and understanding. It is about fostering humility and being ready to admit our mistakes whenever we falter. It is about nurturing the courage to change our ways for the better.
Making amends is a powerful process. It’s a testament to our character growth as Christ-followers, our ability to recognize when we’re wrong, and our commitment to make it right. It’s a practice that demands humility, courage, and persistence. It is always best led by the Holy Spirit. But most importantly, making amends is about honoring others above ourselves, respecting their feelings, ideas, and rights. We must decrease, so that Christ can increase in His impact in the world.
As I continue on this journey of making amends with Patty, I am also making amends with myself and with God. I am transforming, growing, and learning each day to be a better person, a better partner, and a better servant of God. And I hope that by sharing my story, you may also find the courage and strength to make amends in your own lives, honoring others above yourselves.
My Christ bless your richly and guide you as you make amends with others.
Your aspiring servant,
14 July 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent conversation with God blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily Conversations with Christ.