2 Corinthians 7:9 ,”Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.”
In my book called Forgiving Others as God Forgives (2013), I explain how pride can get in the way of forgiveness. Too often you will hear “I have nothing to apologize for”. This statement is always out of pride. We have plenty to be sorry for. It is presumptuous to believe we are above the flesh in sin. The Apostle Paul states in Romans 7:23 “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Paul is acknowledging he is not yet glorified. Paul was saved to the uttermost in Jesus Christ, but his humanly existence still held sin. It is important to remember this.
I also state in this book, that if one cannot apologize merely to another sinner, I find it hard to believe they could genuinely apologize to God for any sin.
We do not know how many sins we commit against a holy God. Are you living each second as God? Not in the flesh you won’t. New creations in Christ strive and grow as they are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, but make no mistake, you will be only perfect and good IN Jesus Christ’s righteousness.
So when we ever think “I have nothing to be sorry about”, think about this further. The person who seeks an apology obviously believes you do. Now apply this to your walk in Jesus Christ. You might believe you are godly, and have nothing to apologize or confess to God about, but think again of His holy standard. Have you woke up each in perfect obedience in every second? If not, you do have something to be sorry about.
Saying the words “I am sorry”, is a pride remover. Whether or not you believe you did wrong or not, it removes any attempt at pride. It is a sign of STRENGTH not weakness! Seek out the person who has a problem and apologize for the rift if anything. It is a hard thing, don’t get me wrong. Pride will tear at our very members as long as we are on this earth. Our first notion is “no, I won’t do this, then the person wins”. But have they? Or did you win by your humility.
Accept the Apology! What I have seen especially in my former life, is the non-acceptance of an apology. The person says “I am sorry”, but the person says “not good enough”. Placing conditions in an apology ALSO shows pride. The person must gravel a certain way with all sorts of pre-conditions, and then you possibly will accept the apology? Now, again, apply this to how God deals with you. Does He hold conditions in your confession, or does He freely forgive you through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Why is your standard of an apology higher than God’s if you are placing all sorts of conditions. All the tax collector said in the parable of Luke 18 was “be merciful to me God, a sinner”. Jesus did not come back and say “not good enough, come up with more in your apology and then I might think about it”.
Often times pride will be the divide. Humble yourself, look at who you are before God. If saved, you strive to be conformed and each day pride will go. If after decades of calling yourself a Christian, and you cannot give and apology and/or accept an apology as God does, examine your walk. Pray that God graces you with humility. Strive for the Cross, don’t fight against it. You were pulled out of the burning wreck of your sins WITHOUT the slightest bit of an apology to Jesus Christ, He did not wait for this before He died on your behalf! Nor did He place all sorts of conditions as to how He would accept your confession, He simply died in your place!
Saying “I am sorry” is strength! Accepting an apology is strength!
Marks of a Christian!