5. Ask God for a verse to comfort you.
God's Word brings both comfort, direction, reproof and encouragement at times when we are combatting our pride. It is humbling to apologize but powerful. We can often decide to do something but then not do it. The Holy Spirit delights in bringing God's Word to your heart for your many needs.
You can do two things.
- Prayerfully read a couple chapters of scriptures from the Bible. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you with His Word and help you where you need help.
- You can also just prayerfully meditate seeking the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind scriptures that you have stored in your heart. See if He would prod you with a scripture. This works with some people more than others. Perhaps it is because we have not sufficiently stored God's Word in our hearts!
6. Make restitution wherever possible
When we have done wrong, we need to not only apologize but also financially restore those things that we have broken and destroyed. We agree many things we have done or said can not be restored. Sexual sins are hard to pay back. Evil words can not be easily restored. They have done their damage. In these cases and others, we can
- Seek the Lord's heart. Ask Him for help to understand the other's pain.
- We apologize and ask forgiveness.
- We can tell people that we desire to remove the pain that we have brought to their lives, but are unable. Emotional pain has no payback. However, through these tender thoughts and words, they at least know you have hurt them. This helps both of you.
- Restitution. Be sure to freely give money to restore what can be restored. (E.g. stolen radio). The scriptural pattern is to pay back more than we stole. Zaccheus pledged to pay back four times what he defrauded from others (Luke 19:8). This might not always be necessary, but Jesus was happy about his arrangement. This liberal restitution sure had the ability to fight against the god of greed that formerly occupied his soul.
- Fifthly, seek and follow the Lord for anything else you could do for them. eg. If you forced an abortion, you cannot bring the baby back. However, you can give sacrificially to an organization that helps those who want to help moms keep their babies.
7. Thank God for His forgiveness and the softening of your heart.
We must remember that for us to make such changes is clearly by God's working in our hearts. It doesn't come natural! Thank God. Thank Him for forgiveness. Treasure Him and His care for you. Remember that the clearest way we can express our thanks to Him for forgiveness is for us to freely forgive others.