One of the funniest things we had to do as parents was mediate between arguments of our children when they did not have the maturity to navigate them on their own.


We tried to always be fair, and typically tried to help them see where their sibling was coming from.


The funny part would come in when the argument was over and we would ask, “Now, what should you say to your sister (or brother) to try to make this better?”


91O8HAinMOL._SL1500_It didn’t matter which child we would ask this to, the “death glare” would come boring back at us and they would mumble under their breath, “I’m sorry.”

Now – I always pondered, “How sincere is that apology if we are making them say it?”
But what we found as they aged was if we taught the fundamental principle of apologizing, then as they aged they learned to do it on their own. They learned to perhaps cool off a bit before they said it, so I believe they learned sincerity along with the words, “I’m sorry.” However, I also believe regardless how old we are, using the words are difficult.


We just don’t like saying, “I’m sorry!”


I’ve watched people leave churches over needing to say “I’m sorry.”

Friendships and family relationships have ceased to exist because someone would refuse to admit some fault in the situation.


It’s hard admitting we are wrong . . . and often times when we say “I’m sorry”  sorry, it can quickly feel used up and cheap.


So what if we try to name my wrongs in a single, simple, specific, direct word: pride, lust, resentment, defensiveness, unkindness, harshness, bitterness, greed, revenge, passive aggression, passivity, exaggeration, lie, half-truth, cowardice, avoidance, and so on.


This would allow us to hold our regret open in God’s presence, slowly lifting our wrongs up from the shadows into full exposure, as it were-not running from them, denying them, minimizing them, or making excuses about them.


McLaren states if we do this, we will experience God’s presence, which is described as light, and why God is even identified with light (1 John 1:5).


It is only in the light of truth, honesty, justice, integrity, holiness, and purity that our wrongs are fully exposed.


But thank God, there is more. The light of God is not only true and just and holy; it is also infinitely gracious, kind, merciful.[1]


Matthew 6:

14-15 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.


Thoughts to Ponder:

Grace and mercy are available to us all, there is no qualifier . . . try uttering the words, “I’m sorry.” My prayer is you will feel that grace and mercy . . .



[1] McLaren, Brian D. (2011-03-15). Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words (pp. 125-126). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.