Is Saying "I'm Sorry" Enough?
Wouldn't it be nice for someone to take responsibility for a mistake or offense?
It is very common these days for people to blame someone else for everything they perceive has gone wrong, politicians being the exception of course, right? Whether in a marriage, work, or in church, for that matter, how refreshing would it be for us to hear, "I'm sorry, that was my fault."
I was at an intense personal development training about 10 years ago that taught me something I hope I will never forget. (So far, so good...though I asked someone to forgive me just last week.) During the training, we spent a lot of time over the weekend talking and learning about what we really want when we apologize. "I'm sorry" is a very reasonable thing to say at times, but sometimes I have to say, "I'm sorry. Will you forgive me?" The ultimate goal of apologizing should be to restore, repair, and show that we value the relationship, not just hope they let us off the hook.
Just last week I missed an appointment because I put the date in my calendar wrong. I got a text from the guy asking if I would be there and had to humbly explain why I would not make it. Because I very much value the relationship and because I wanted not only for him to excuse me, but forgive me, I said, "I'm sorry, your relationship is important to me. Will you forgive me?" You see I want this growing relationship to continue to grow without any hindrances. Saying "I'm sorry," might have helped, but asking him to forgive me goes further and invites him to intimately participate in the relationship with me. We had a really great discussion later that night and are definitely closer than we were before.
"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:18, NIV)
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives." (1 John 1:8-10, NIV)
Our mistakes can be allowed to separate and divide us OR we can allow God to do some amazing relational work through our confession and request for forgiveness.
What difference might others feel if they heard from us, "Will you forgive me," versus, "I'm sorry"? When is it better to add, "Will you forgive me?"
It's worth a thought.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how God is working in and through your life. Your greatest life is just ahead.
Pastor Michael Baggett
Finally, a safe place for single adults!
Bridges is where great friendships and healthy relationships with God and others happen. We meet on Thursday nights, 7:00 p.m. at Life Community Church in Roseville, CA. Come and connect with other single adults from the Sacramento area. What do you have to lose? Nothing! Just a whole lot to gain. Contact Michael Baggett at email@example.com, or visit www.BridgesSacramento.com to learn more.