Say You’re Sorry

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”  1 John 1:9

How often do we hear parents telling their children to say that they are sorry to a brother or sister or playmate? The child mumbles the words, embarrassed, head down, perhaps with a scowling face. Are they really sorry?

Why is it so hard to admit to others that we were wrong?

Personally, it is easier for me to confess my sins to God than to my brother or sister. In the back of my mind, I am justifying my actions, wanting to accuse the other person for what he or she did wrong. If he or she would just confess first, then maybe it would be easier for me to do so as well, right?

Why should we admit it when we are wrong? According to the verse above, it is to be assured of God’s forgiveness and to be cleansed from our “dirtiness.” In my case, I have felt in the past like I was walking around with dirt on my heart when I have refused to ask for forgiveness, but I clung to my dirtiness rather than allow God to clean me up through confession.

Canadians often say, “Sorry.” And there is usually a conditioned response, “That’s okay.” This may work for some people, but there are times when it is not enough to simply say, “Sorry!” And it is often not “okay.” True confession involves a little more heart-searching. It includes thinking about how we have hurt another person to the point of putting ourselves in the other person’s place, imagining how it would feel to be them.

Father, help me to better understand how my words and actions impact others, and how my refusal to apologize to them leaves me with a dirty heart. Thank you that you want to cleanse me, if I will only let you! Teach me to apologize more readily so that relationships with you and others can be restored! Amen.

By Karen Woodard
Used by Permission

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