Next to “I love you,” there are no more powerful words than “Please forgive me.”
Everyone is a sinner who regularly fails to do God’s will. This failure damages our relationship with him and with one another. That means we need grace from God and the forgiveness of our fellow man. With all that being true, then we should continually be asking others to please forgive us. Yet, I would ask directly, is that your experience?
We need to acknowledge that we make mistakes and sin. Tell someone that your emotions got the best of you, and you lost control of your tongue. Be clear to others that you crumbled under the weight you were carrying. Share with them that you regret your words and actions, and you are trying not to let it happen again. This is not who you are. It was a time you stepped away from what you know to be proper behavior and acted in ways that hurt God and others. It was a moment of weakness, and you are truly sorry.
All these words are so complicated to say, and yet they need to be communicated regularly. One of the most significant steps toward healthy relationships at home or the Church is the willingness to ask for forgiveness. The second step is to offer it in return.