I’m Sorry

What is it about these two words that make them so difficult to say?

I’m not talking about the cavalier kind of I’m sorry, but the deep, sincere, remorseful apology.

Is it fear, pride or ignorance that keeps us from owning up to our end of things?

As a kid growing up, saying I’m sorry was an admission of weakness.
Emotions were not validated and displaying any kind of vulnerability just set you up as a target.

Saying I’m sorry was equivalent to failure.

As I got older I continued to adopt that same philosophy. It kind of worked for a while until I became an adult and my relationships began to crumble around me.

It was a painful experience when a friend finally sat me down and explained my defensive stance and how I never apologized even when I was dead wrong.

I was stunned. It felt as if someone had slapped me across the face and yet I knew they were right.

I had been trying to hide my heart behind a glass wall.

The problem was that hiding was no longer working and all my defense mechanisms for self – protection were holding my heart prisoner.

Having to apologize is hard. Apologizing is humbling. Apologizing is healing.

I recently had to ask forgiveness from my 9-year-old daughter for the way I spoke to her. I had hurt her with the harshness of my words and her comment to me was that what I said made her “feel small”.

Ouch! Did I really just get called on the carpet by a 9 year old? Yes, yes I did.

At first I found myself trying to justify and rationalize why I didn’t need to apologize to a child, but quickly realized it was my responsibility to model to my daughter how to apologize and that there is no shame or weakness in admitting responsibility.

Matthew 5:23-24 says this:
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

My apology went a long way towards healing the hurt I had caused my daughter and helped set a good example of transparency and trust.

I hope that I helped to create an emotionally safe environment for my daughter to explore her feelings and share them without fear of rejection or negative consequences.

Our heavenly Father has demonstrated that He too is trustworthy of handling our confessions and apologies for the ways that we grieve His heart.

Ephesians 1:6-8
To the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One He loves.In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,

Who do you need to say I’m sorry to and what is holding you back?

Grace & Peace ~ Karen


2 thoughts on “I’m Sorry

  1. Cindy Holman says:

    Great article.  The world would be a better place if we could all just say “I’m sorry” – recently my husband and I received a lovely apology letter from a family member.  It was amazing.  It has begun a slow healing process in our family.  I have a friend that is estranged from me due to a delicate situation.  He got his feelings hurt – and it was messy.  Even though their have been email apologies on both our parts – for the most part – he refuses to be fully reconciled and restored to us.  I don’t think he’s really living what he’s confessing about forgiveness.  But that’s just in my world, I know – my husband calls it “Cindy Land” – but to tell you the truth – everyone in my world would apologize for hurting others – and FORGIVE.  Everyone would love each other and live peacefully only wanting the best for one another.  I think I’ll keep my world – I like living there.  And I’m waiting for everyone to eventually join me.  The weather’s nice 🙂

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Hi Cindy – thanks for sharing your story with me. I think I like “Cindy Land”, it sounds an awful lot like what God designed for us! I’ll gladly join you…I’ll bring the coffee 🙂

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