“I’m sorry”. A simple two-word sentence. It can do great good or make things worse. We’ve all heard (and most probably have said) the “I’m sorry” that really means “I’m sorry I got caught” or “I’m sorry that you are making a big deal about this”. Needless to say, this apology is virtually meaningless and usually makes things worse.
There is another kind though that carries a lot of healing power. Here is an example from our reading this week: “But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done.” Psalm 38:17-18 (NLT). It is simple, humble, genuine and works in our apologies to God and to others. Owning our wrong and accepting responsibility without excuses or blame-shifting is rare in our time and that may explain why so many feel distant from God and others. Think back to a time when someone genuinely apologized to you. How did it make you feel? What happened to the friendship? How did that compare to disingenuous apologies you have received?
While it is humbling and hard, truly owning our wrong and working to clear it up with God or others is the only way to find healing going forward. Instead of fighting it, embrace it and see what happens!