Hello, my name is Ford Taylor with the FSH Group and Transformation Leadership, welcome to God Today. You know, there was a time in my life where I felt like I was basically God’s gift to everything. I walked and oozed with pride and arrogance and felt like there was really nothing much I could do wrong. During that time I very seldom ever took responsibility for my own behavior. I’m thankful that God got a hold of that guy and said, “I want you to be a different kind of man.” When I started learning to take responsibility for my behavior and knowing how to make up for the mistakes that I made, my life got a whole lot more peaceful and my relationships got a whole lot better.
I remember one night in our home we had a lot of leaders to have dinner together (from our city). As we were gathering everyone together to come to fix their plates in a buffet-style set up, my daughter (my teenage daughter), she jumped to the front of the line. It was really loud and I leaned over to her and I said sweetie, “You know our guests go first, we don’t go first.” If you’ve ever been in a loud room or a loud gym and all of a sudden it just got really quiet, that’s what happened. Everybody there heard me say that to my daughter. It completely embarrassed her, she ran upstairs. When she ran out of the room, I told the leaders, “I have to go. I may not be back tonight, I don’t know how it’s going to go but enjoy your dinner. If I get a chance I’ll be back down.”
I went upstairs and I laid down next to my daughter. She was heartbroken and I was crushed. I looked at her and I said, “Sweetie, downstairs I told you our guests go first. And when I did it, it got completely quiet in the room and everybody heard me say it. I was wrong for doing it that way. I’m so sorry. When you can, will you forgive me for doing that? I give you permission to hold me accountable to never embarrass you that way again in front of my friends or yours.” I said, “Darling, is there anything else I owe you an apology for? Because I don’t want you to take anything your dad has done into your marriage or into any of your other relationships.”
She rolled over and gave me a big hug and said, “No, Dad, I forgive you. It’s ok.” I said, “I’m going to go downstairs and I’m going to apologize to these leaders for the behavior also. Would you like to go with me? Or would you like for me to do it and you come down later?” And she said, “Dad, would you go down? And I’ll come down later.” So, I got everybody’s attention downstairs and said the same thing, “Awhile ago I said this to my daughter, that our guests go first, and when I said it you all heard it. That was wrong for me to do. I embarrassed her and I’ve embarrassed myself for doing it. I’m sorry. I’m wrong, will you forgive me for doing that?” I told them all, “I give you permission to hold me accountable not to behave that way.” I didn’t want them to leave there believing that behavior was okay. I said to them all, ‘Is there anything else I owe you an apology for?”
When I learned to apologize and take responsibility, my life changed. So, my question is: is there anybody in your life that maybe it would help you and maybe even them, and your relationship with them, if you went and took responsibility for something you may have done. Even if you apologize and ask someone to forgive you, their answer really doesn’t matter. You’ve done your part.
I’d like to pray for you, that if there’s someone like that, that you’d have the courage. One thing I pray daily is “give me the courage to be humble and the humility to be courageous.” Father, I pray right now that anybody that may be listening, that if they have somebody in their life that there’s a broken relationship that they can take responsibility for their part, not the other party’s part, but for their part. And they’d be able to humble themselves and go to them and admit what they did. To admit that they were wrong, to say they are sorry, and to ask for forgiveness. And to give them permission to hold them accountable not to behave that way anymore and be sure is there anything else. Father, I ask that when they do that, that relationship would be completely restored. Whether it’s a husband, a wife, a child, a boss, a coworker – no matter what it is – you would restore that relationship. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.