Tag: sorry

Why won’t you forgive me when I tell you I’m sorry?

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These days, the words, “I’m sorry” are about as genuine and believable as a university head basketball/football coach’s signature on a multiyear contract.

In other words, they mean nothing.

“But why won’t people believe me when I say I’m sorry? Why do I have to jump through so many hoops before they forgive me?”

Let’s think about it for a minute or two.

I like the folks who think Jesus said, “If a brother sins against you, don’t get mad or judge him. Calmly let him know he hurt your feelings. And if he says, ‘I’m sorry’, believe him and let him slide.”

Honestly, there are people who think Jesus said those words.

But here’s what He REALLY said:

“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” (Luke 17:3 – 17:4 ESV)

Notice Jesus said we’re to rebuke (call to account) the one who sins against us. IF he repents (acknowledges his wrongdoing and turns from it) we’re to forgive.

“I’m sorry” isn’t the same as repentance. 

Paul demonstrated this truth in his letters to the Corinthian church.

In the first letter, he told them to judge (rebuke sharply) a young man who was having sex with his father’s wife (chapter 5). The idea was to help bring the man to repentance; see him change his mind as well as his actions.

In the second letter, Paul told them that their godly response toward the man did what he had hoped; it made the man face his sin and with godly sorrow he turned from his sinful ways.

Paul said, “NOW you need to forgive him and restore him…”
He then reminded them of the difference between godly sorrow (sorrow that changes one’s behavior) and worldly sorrow (sorrow that merely says, “I’m sorry”).

“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:9 – 7:10 NASB)

So why don’t people believe you when you say those magic words “I’m sorry”?

And why won’t they automatically forgive you, even though you’ve uttered those two special words?

Maybe it’s because you’re always saying them, yet never displaying any remorse or desire to change your behavior. Perhaps it’s because of your “you have to forgive me” attitude.

And it could be you have never believed you are capable of being wrong.

Yes, it’s true people should be quick to forgive; it is ALSO true people are to take their cue from God. We must forgive as He forgives.

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NASB)

“Just as…”

God’s work of salvation, including the forgiveness of sins found in the substitutionary work of Jesus, will only be experienced by someone IF they repent and believe. No repentance, no forgiveness.

“I’m sorry, God”, is a start; but not if there’s no change of heart and mind.

Remember, we’re told to forgive “just as…”. So, no repentance, no forgiveness.

It was true then, and it’s true now.

So just because you’re quick to say, “I’m sorry”, doesn’t mean I or anyone else has to be quick to forgive.

Repentance? That’s a whole different story.

“I’m sorry”? If you say those words because it’s a habit, every time someone holds you accountable, you might as well say, “I did it, I’m glad I did it, and I’m gonna do it again; so there!”

It will mean just as much as “I’m sorry”.

Maybe, for once, along with “I’m sorry”, you could add, “Will you please help me? I don’t want to keep offending you, God, or anyone else.”

That is, if you truly mean it.

If you have true repentance.

If not, then I’m sorry; you’ll just have to deal with the consequences.

Pompous Pride – Wretched Worms

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Here’s an apology from my heart to you, the reader. I want to make sure I cover the bases, and not forget anyone. It’s been one of those weeks. A week of “wiggly, wretched, worms”.

Sometimes I am full of myself. At times I catch myself being that way, but usually after others have noticed it first. Sorry.

I wish I had enough good sense to always keep my filter turned on. You know, kind of like a seven second delay. Maybe someone could invent such a needed device.

Anyway, there are moments when my excitement turns into bragging; like I’m the only one who’s ever been blessed by God. As if I’m the only one who’s ever had God speak to me. 

Every so often I act as though I’m the only one who’s ever studied the Bible! 

You know what? Sometimes I can’t stand being around me! 

Sometimes even the WORMS can’t stomach me!

It’s been a rough week; I think, for the most part I’ve said the right words but my timing, my tone, and even my temper has been off kilter. I wish I could have a mulligan, a do-over, maybe even an eraser to wipe the slate clean. 

But that wouldn’t help others who’ve had to listen to this bag of wind.

I know one thing for sure; I don’t want to be like King Herod and get eaten by worms!

“When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!” Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.” (Acts 12:21-23 NLT)

Pompous pride invites wretched worms!

I guess all I can do is say I’m sorry, please forgive me and pray for me. I sure am glad God hasn’t given up on me. 

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6 NLT)

“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:12-13 NLT)

May the Lord help me to listen more, talk less, affirm more, criticize less; and do everything in a way Jesus would do it; that is, IF He’d do it.

“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17 NLT)

Thanks for “listening”.

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