The plot was planned carefully and carried out perfectly.
It involved deceit, lies, theft, and betrayal.
The behaviors were the product of a narcissistic, prideful, cold, insensitive heart.
The results were injury, devastation, anger, and bitterness. Some died with their broken heart unmended.
But the alluring, coveted prize turned to wormwood. The sweet taste of wine became like a mouthful of ashes.
Family members ended up being pitted against each other. There were threats of murder. A vendetta cast its ugly, dark shadow over them all. Even the most skilled of tuners would not have been able to bring harmony to the discordant members.
Decades passed. It appeared hopeless.
But a miracle happened! Peace and harmony returned.
How? Only by the hand of God. Only He could provide avenues for people to travel that would result in self-revelation. Only He could hold a mirror to the faces of the parties so that they could see themselves in His light. Only His light could shine into the far recesses of their souls for them to see their mistakes.
First of all the deceiver was given a taste of his own medicine. He was betrayed and lied to.
Fitful dreams, with hidden meanings, plagued his nights. Peace escaped him.
He was constantly looking over his shoulder, fearful that the next bend in the road could bring him face to face with death itself.
“An affair?” you ask. “Is this the story of an extra-marital affair?”
That is definitely a good guess. Certainly all the elements of an affair and its aftermath are there.
But I want this lesson to be applicable for everyone, not just those who are married. This is a lesson about getting along with anyone and everyone. So I chose a Bible story about two brothers – twins. (You can read about them, Jacob and Esau, in Genesis 25-33.)
What can you do when things have gone wrong between you and someone you love? When you spoke harshly or acted rashly and caused a rift?
Change your life by saying these nine words: I was wrong. I am sorry. I love you.
This combination of words is like an ancient spell. It works miracles. And here’s why.
When you say you were wrong you are coming from a place of humility. Pride is the biggest roadblock to an admission of guilt. But when you start with “I was wrong,” you make clear to the listener that you accept responsibility for what you did. No rationalizing, no excuse making, no blaming.
The one you have hurt will never open their heart to you until they hear and see humility.
With the words “I am sorry” you show a genuine concern for how the other person feels and how they were affected by what you did. It demonstrates your empathy for the person you love. And the accompanying overtone that can be heard in your heart is, “please forgive me.”
Until they believe you care how much they have been hurt, they will turn their back on any of your efforts at repairing the relationship.
The last three of the nine words, I love you, sum up the foundational piece upon which you want to rebuild your relationship. You are saying that the most important thing I want you to know and feel is my love for you.
The wrong you have done them has made them believe that you do not love them. They need to know how your heart feels about them.
In the story of Jacob and Esau, Jacob is the offender, Esau the wounded party. After years of separation and a severe rift, Jacob doesn’t literally utter these nine words, but his behaviors are a demonstration of their intent.
Notice what he does and says upon finally meeting his brother:
- He bows down to the ground seven times as he approaches his brother.
- He presents gifts to Esau in order “to find favor in your eyes my lord.”
- Jacob told Esau, “seeing your face is like seeing the face of God.”
- Listen closely when he says, “Just let me find favor in your eyes.”
As a result, these brothers embrace in love and part in peace.
Marriages and friendships could often be saved if someone would simply utter the nine life-changing words:
- “I was wrong”
- “I am sorry”
- “I love you”