Just in casual conversation Saturday night after church, someone remarked that hearing “I’m sorry” followed by a “BUT” is one of the saddest things in the world. I would have to agree with that but not hearing “I’m sorry” at all is far worse.
Being a direct descendent from the never-say-you-are-sorry clan, those words were something other people said. Other families said. When you grow up not ever hearing words of apology or having that type of humility modeled, it’s a bit of a challenge to work those admissions into your vernacular.
Personally, I spent many years not feeling the need for forgiveness or feeling the need to apologize to anyone for much ~ it was very much an “every man for himself” life and if you happened to be trampled along my way; well, that’s life. I trample you; you trample me. Looking back, there is certainly no gray area or confusion regarding the results that I garnered. Galatians 6:7 had not yet been introduced into my life:
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
His promise was fulfilled; I sowed and I reaped accordingly. On the surface, I appeared to be extremely happy but it was a tidal motion underneath the contrived calm.
One of the most difficult things to absorb as a Christian is that God is so merciful; so full of grace; so eager to be in a relationship with us that He forgives when we apologize. Unlike us, He doesn’t harbor resentment or bitterness. He forgives fully and without reservation. I could not comprehend of anything like that. Sometimes, even now, I have to remind myself that the minute I sincerely apologize, He has forgiven me. No words are sweeter to Him than “I’m sorry and I love you”. Simply amazing.
Now I try to apologize whenever I even sense that I’ve offended.
I offend often; I apologize often.