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I'm Sorry

Last day we began a series looking at little statements that can have a tremendous impact on our interpersonal relationships, as well as our relationship with the Lord. We wish to continue today, as we consider this two-word statement: “I’m sorry”. For some people, the very thought of expressing sentiments of apology is absolutely out of the question — they never take responsibility for their action, or inaction, and would, therefore, never apologise. To them “I’m sorry” is an admission that they are wrong or they are guilty, and to this, they would never admit. For others, “I’m sorry” rolls off the tongue so easily and so often, that its depth and value seem meaningless and devoid of sincerity. It appears as though the issues surrounding the apparent apology had been clearly sidestepped, and in an effort to hastily escape from the consequences of his/her action or inaction, a frivolous “I’m sorry” is skilfully introduced, to force a close to the conflict. Most of us, however, may fall somewhere between these two extremes. For us, the greater difficulty in this regard, may not necessarily be saying sorry, per se, but rather, our ability to recognise, acknowledge and admit that we have done wrong. This too is pride. To think that we would go through life without ever hurting or offending others is an irrational and illogical expectation. Even though we would try our utmost to limit its occurrence, every one of us would cause offence to other people from time to time. Especially to those with whom we share a meaningful bond. The manner in which we respond to our own misdeeds, not only gives a clear indication of how we value the offended person, but it gives insight to our self-worth as well. There are times when our misdeeds may weigh very heavily on the emotions of our loved ones. The pain and hurt caused by these offences create such a wedge between the offender and the offended that it threatens to destabilise the very relationship. Communication becomes so distorted and difficult that every other word seems to be misspoken or misunderstood. While the weight of the offence may very widely, I think every offended person would like to know that the person causing the offence is genuinely sorry for what was done. Not sorry only because they were caught, or because other people found out, but rather, sincerely sorry for the action or inaction and for the consequences of same. When a truly heartfelt apology is genuinely offered, with sincerity, it has the amazing power to mend a broken heart, ease the pain, rebuild trust and bring healing and restoration to the relationship. God's Word admonishes us to, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

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