Recently I had a friend apologise for a comment they’d made in a social setting – they were worried that they had offended and/or hurt me with what they’d said. I couldn’t actually remember the offending remark, but was thankful that they wanted to make things right. I told them that I was sure they didn’t mean anything by whatever they had said (which was true), and the conversation ended amicably.

That should have been the end of it, right? Genuine apology, accepted with genuine thanks and genuine assurances that everything was fine – all good!

And yet it was all I could do to stop myself trying to remember what it was they might have said! In the end I gave myself a stern talking-to about the self-indulgence of such an activity.

It’s hard to repent from such emotional hypochondria. Perhaps we like sinfully wallowing in self-pity (“they hurt me! they hurt me!”). Or maybe we just want to inflate our ego via forgiveness (“wow, I was so gracious when I forgave that person”). Either way, Lord, thank You for forgiving us our sins, even as we learn to forgive those who sin against us…