I have heard enough sermons about *forgiveness*. Usually they focus on the mandate that we *must* forgive. I can't remember ever hearing about the offender's part in making amends.
I did some Bible searching. It has a bit to say about making amends. I think so often, these days, the emphasis is put on the one who has been offended to do the forgiving and the idea of making amends is over looked. Why? I have even heard this psycho-politically-correct idea of forgiving yourself.
I believe the offender can actually HELP the one they have offended. I believe making amends actually aids in the healing & forgiving process.
When a 'victim' (for lack of a better word) is so deeply affected by an offense committed against them---I believe it can be traced back to a lack of proper identity. When a 'victim' realizes their true identity, in Christ, the offense is not part of who they are & healing can happen leading to true forgiveness.
I believe the offender can help by understanding that when anger is shown, it is the victims way of revealing their hurt or the wound that is still there, unhealed, caused by the offense. The offender is not held captive by their offense because they have realized their own true identity as well. They know they are no longer the "offender"-in Christ their sins are forgotten.
The victim needs help remembering who they truly are too--they are no longer the "victim" but are a beautiful creation of God. In those moments, the offender would do well to respond in loving kindness to the one they have hurt--remind the one you love how much you DO love them, admit they did NOT deserve to be mistreated---why? simply because they are a child of GOD!
to be continued.....