A famous Pop artist once wrote a hit song entitled Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word. When offered up in genuine humility and remorse it can be a difficult word to cough up. When withheld due to pride it can be the cancer that costs us the very things or people we hold most dear. And if pondered too long it won’t bring the onlyremedy that will heal us.
Speaking purely from a man’s perspective-well, we can be pig headed at times and downright oblivious at others. We are often given way too much credit for being clairvoyant or all knowing. Sometimes the pain we cause is immediately apparent but sometimes we simply have no clue until it’s too late. And while a sincere apology goes a long way in eventual forgiveness, the damage done is sometimes irreversible.
The best grandpas often times were not the best dads, as was the case with me. It took years of mistakes and miscues as a father to learn how to be a beloved Papa. The years spent in error as a dad can not be recaptured. Grandchildren become the benefactors of a life long learning process full of blunders they never know of. Smart men take full advantage of this second chance and relish in the perceived image that we know is not always fully disclosed.
The best spouses were not born that way. It comes with years of trial and many errors, grace and forgiveness, humility and servanthood and selflessness that few possess, least of all me. The simple words “I’m Sorry” spoken in sincerity are the best remedies for damage control in any committed relationship, as well as a good sense of timing. Great men master this process quickly in their relationships-good men take a little longer but eventually get it right before it’s too late. Foolish men sadly never acquire the skill before differences become irreconcilable, and only after they are left alone with their thoughts do they realize that indeed, they are truly sorry.
The Apostle Paul showed us that even he, the author of the majority of our New Testament, didn’t always get things right. He openly confessed that he didn’t do the things he knew he should do, and often did the things he knew he shouldn’t, referring to his acts as despicable. Sometimes we are held to such unattainable standards that failure is eminent. In Christ there is grace, patience and forgiveness but in life we are sometimes left sitting in the ashes. The sooner we can grasp the concept of humility and remorse the sooner we can reduce the collateral damage left behind otherwise.
Jesus taught us in His prayer that asking for forgiveness should be a part of every prayer. The notion that our grace covering eliminates our need to have a humble and contrite spirit when approaching Him is simply bad teaching. This same principle of humility and self-awareness of our actions will also serve us well in every day life. You can stand on false principle and withhold your apologies when they are deeply needed the most, or, you can spend the rest of your life apologizing to people who are no longer around to hear. It’s your choice-choose wisely.