Go to psalms 51 and to the story of the faithful father in the new testament in Luke 15,11-32. Study these examples of repentance and you will come out with something like the following tool.
When I sin: 1God is the one sinned against. 2. I “shoot myself in the foot” and am the one damaged 3. I place a stumbling block in front of the injured person. 4. I give occasion the the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. 5. I bring inevitable difficulties into this world.
First: I must go to God and ask his forgiveness “against thee, thee only have I sinned”
Then: I must accept the forgiveness from God. I do not apologize in order to be OK I am now OK because I went to the one sinned against and asked for forgiveness. My goal in apologizing is that I am letting God bless me by allowing me to restore what I have damaged. I am letting God reach out to my offended neighbor with the goal of restoring relationship and bringing healing to the ones I’ve hurt. (Remember that anything I do to make the apology hurt me less, will ruin the healing and benefit.)
I. God is convicting me of my bad attitude of __________________. (ex. pride, control, competition, , greed, lust, anger, envy, etc.
II. Which caused me to hurt you by_________________________. ( I need to be specific about what I did. A vague apology is actually an attack-“I am so wonderful that I am willing to say sorry when I can’t tell what I’ve done it is so small. You are so horrible you get all bent out of shape over this little thing.)
III. I would like to minister into the damage I’ve done by ____________ (I need to offer something real and practical, my time and money, words of encouragement and appreciation etc.)
IV. If I were in your shoes I’d have trouble taking a risk on me. ( I must not add reasons why they owe me forgiveness)
V. Because I know that I could mess up again, I am obtaining the following accountability and help__________. I am getting help because I need it not just to get you to drop my consequences and I plan to continue for as long as it takes for God to change me.
VI. If you could find it in your heart to forgive me and take a risk on relationship with me maybe we could start rebuilding with a small step such as_________.(I must not ask to go back to “business as usual”-that would indicate that I’m only concerned about getting rid of my consequences not in building real trustworthy relationship.)
VII. Would you please forgive me? Acts 19: 15
LORD TEACH ME TO DELIGHT IN YOUR WAYS AND TO LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO RESTORE OTHERS WHERE I HAVE CAUSED HURT AND TO DELIGHT IN THE GIFT OF BEING ABLE TO DO SO.