Do you know what are the hardest words to utter? “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?” Yup, every single human finds these words difficult to say. They are the most powerful words you can say. You should get good at saying them, here’s why.
I have a t-shirt which says ‘Choose empathy.’ I love my shirt. I love the message even more. In a world that is caught up in ‘me, me, me’ all the time it takes a shift in perspective to see things from someone else’s view point and acknowledge that something may have gone wrong.
Whenever I hear the words “I’m sorry,” I always think of Justin Bieber or Eminem (am I showing my age here). Didn’t mean to hurt you…didn’t mean to make you cry, but tonight I’m cleaning out my closet… When we say sorry we validate someone else and take responsibility for the hurt the situation may have caused them.
I messed up
For some reason saying this really irks us. We like to be right as humans, and we don’t want to accept that we aren’t right- from our point of view, of course, we are. You can’t go through life always being right. Nobody can.
We are all a little bit messed up and we all make mistakes. It is what it is. You will mess up and you will need to apologise for it. If you don’t do something wrong, then often you neglect to do something right. Either way, it counts as a wrong.
Nobody can ever put a price on forgiveness. Some of the greatest wrongs done by mankind have been forgiven. We don’t deserve forgiveness, but we are asking for mercy and appealing to the common human understanding that nobody is perfect.
Will you let it go? Is what we are saying.
Often with this sentence, “yes, I forgive you,” both of you are healed.
Holding onto resentments for longer than you need to is the most effective way to poison your thoughts and taint your days. Forgiveness will allow you to let those negative things go and move forward regardless. We only have so much time on this planet, let’s rather spend it creating great things than holding onto the past.
‘I’m sorry’ can be thrown out very easily, without any authenticity. If you really want someone to know that your ‘sorry’ is real then look them in the eyes, use open body language and keep your tone of voice kind and stable.
If you yell or are forceful in your opinion then the person on the other side is far less likely to accept your apology, or believe it is authentic.
“Yes, I did that but I had a reason behind what I was doing…”- this is a kind of half apology. I do it. I bet you do it too! This is a shady way of rationalizing your behaviour and trying to find a loop-hole out.
You may have a side to the story too. I’m sure you do. Regardless, tell your story before the apology and when you say those magic words leave off all your buts and excuses.
One of the most powerful apologies we can ever make is to apologise to God. It’s easy to get angry at God for all the things that have happened in your life which you don’t understand.
The thing is we often don’t think about the fact that perhaps we aren’t perfect and have hurt God too.
God sent His Son Jesus to take away our sins and set us free so that we can hang out with Him. He offers us forgiveness and hope. He’s angry at us. He wants to know us. Maybe it’s time to let go the picture of God you have, stop blaming Him for all the things in your life, and say yes to getting to know Him?