Such a small word, but perhaps one of the most important words in the English language. To say, “I’m sorry,” is to say that I’ve been wrong and that, too, is a phrase that is very important. Most of us have such an elevated sense of our own “rightness” that we cannot recognize when we are wrong, and to say, “I’m sorry,” without a sense of having been wrong is disingenuous at best and reeks of manipulation.
I’m wrong so often, that I have difficulty understanding how others can be so wise and correct in all their doings. Nearly every bad thing that has happened to me is a consequence of either some wrong attitude, or some wrong action. I think that my only really redeeming quality is that I try to be open to correction. Such correction, either from another individual or from God, breaks my heart and causes me to cry out to both God and those I’ve offended for forgiveness. Though people are not always ready to accept my proffered apology, God knows my heart and receives me and wipes away the guilt, leaving me free to begin again.
Starting over with a broken and contrite heart, allows me to experience the presence of God in a very unique way. It is at that point that I realize that I need His guidance and cannot rely upon my own finite understanding of life and life’s issues. He is willing to guide me to heights of usefulness, which I never before hoped to attain.
I have discovered that the primary hindrance to reaching the point of brokenness which results in offering a genuine “I’m sorry” is pride. Scripture tells us that number one thing God hates is pride. It was pride which caused Lucifer to rebel against God. It is pride which keeps me, at times, from admitting I’m wrong. Pride causes me to defend my position more vehemently and to act irrationally when I am attacked.
The opposite of pride is humility. Humility allows me to be wrong. Humility allows me to treat others with respect. Humility allows me to recognize the weaknesses and needs of others without discarding them because of those weaknesses, because I realize that God has accepted me, even with all my weaknesses.
Lord, Please teach me humility in order that I might be able to genuinely say, “I’m sorry.” I ask this in the sweet name of Jesus, Amen.