(Source: Meridian Magazine; By: Joni Hilton)
Most of us love having the missionaries over for dinner. We imagine their families praying for them, and hoping they’ll be well-fed. Some of us remember our own kids’ missions, and how grateful we were when they had a hearty meal. It’s wonderful to bask in the spirit they bring into our homes, and an honor to feed these hardworking servants of the Lord.
And, on occasion, you get to give them some advice. Often it mirrors what their parents have taught them (but you always need a non-parent to echo wise counsel), and last time we fed our local elders, a topic came up that gave me an opportunity to impart some wisdom I hope they’ll remember.
One of our elders had offended a new convert, and was planning to apologize to her. I told him it was the smartest move he could make, then I told both of them how important it is to learn this skill. The willingness to say “I’m sorry” can often have more power than anything else you can do. And, looking down the road, it’s vital for happiness in marriage.
Saying “I’m sorry” (and meaning it, of course) can build an almost instantaneous bridge. It tells the other person you truly regret the hurt you caused, wouldn’t do it again, and that your intention is to save the relationship, to make amends, to heal and to hope.
While many see it as weakness– a sign of giving in– it’s actually the polar opposite. Anyone can be egotistical, stubborn, and too proud to apologize. But it takes a larger heart, a bigger soul, to humble oneself and ask for forgiveness.