“I want to say I’m sorry but I don’t know how
I’m sorry. So sorry now.
I said some words I wish I’d never said.
I know words can kill. Cause somethings dead.”
-Andrew Peterson’s “I want to say I’m sorry.” The song can be watched HERE.
Saying sorry is something very difficult for me. I don’t like to do it. It is the same reason I don’t stop to ask for directions. It’s the same reason I’m never at fault for the the hardships in my life. It’s because I am proud. We love to play the victim, but never want to admit that we are ever the violator.
Here are some things I’ve learned about saying sorry.
1) No excuses.
We always try to blame something else for our actions. “I was tired.” “I was hungry.” “I was stressed.” We deflect the blame of our actions onto something else. Stop it. It weakens your apology. Just say it. “I was wrong. I’m sorry.” And sometimes, say the other thing. “And I love you.”
2) Confess your sin.
What are you apologizing for? I’ve heard some terrible apologies in my day. “I’m sorry that it hurt your feelings.” That is no kind of apology. You might as well say, “I’m sorry your so weak and sensitive.” That kind of apology is manipulative, proud, and insulting. Instead, own your guilt. What did you do? What part do you have to own? “I’m sorry I raised my voice.” “I’m sorry I forgot our anniversary.” “I’m sorry I changed plans without telling you.” Own it. To do so is to put yourself at the mercy of another. They might not forgive you. You are giving them that power. But it’s the only way home. I am willing to give my beloved the sword over my neck for a chance at peace.
3) Apologize quickly.
When you realize you are wrong, go and make it right. If you can’t at that exact moment, go and find the time to do it. For a small wrong, call and say the words. For a larger wrong, go and say the words. Don’t let the sun go down on the hurt you’ve caused. Don’t sweep in under the rug and hope it goes away. Face it in all it’s awkward glory.
Next Week: Some thoughts of forgiving.