You’ve heard the phrase, “Love means never having to say I’m sorry.” I really wonder about that one. I personally disagree with it. Here’s why.
In any relationship–husband wife, friend to friend, brother sister, teacher student, etc., one thing in all of these that we can count on is conflict. I know we don’t like to think about it and especially we don’t like to be in it, but it is inevitably coming. It is such a part of our broken nature.
I really wonder about those people who say, “We’ve been married for 20 years and never had a disagreement.” At least for me, I don’t think I was married 20 days without some kind of disagreement, and I consider Ellen and myself very blessed to be together. She’s been the love of my life for nearly 25 years. (November 4th for those who are keeping up with it.)
At the very heart of relationships is a four letter word–LOVE. It’s a humbling concept. It teaches me that no matter what, you are to come first because of the love that God first had for both of us. Since I love you, I have no problem saying, “I’m sorry.” Sounds simple right? Many things that sound simple in theory are rarely simple in practice.
There’s this little five letter word called PRIDE that gets in the way. The saying should be worded like this. “Pride means never having to say, ‘I’m sorry.'” Pride tells me that it’s you that has the problem. Pride tells me that you are the one that needs to change. Love says that even if you are in the wrong, our words to one another ought to be seasoned with love.
The Bible concept of “I’m sorry” is called confession. (James 5:16 NCV) “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen.” Both confession and prayer are parts of being able to say, “I’m sorry.”
Someone will say, “But they didn’t ask for forgiveness!” Did the people at the foot of the cross cry out to Jesus for it, yet He gave it? The people stoning Steven to death weren’t begging for his forgiveness, yet he said, “Lord do not hold this sin against them.” I doubt any of us have suffered those kinds of injustices lately.
Here’s my point. Love not only means having to say I’m sorry, but we must say it in ways that people understand we really mean it. “I’m sorry” means I care about you. It means I want this relationship to continue. It means that I’m willing to humble myself in order to save the relationship. It means that even if I’m right, I’m willing to let my “being right” go in order for you to love me. It means “I love you.”
Tomorrow, I will talk about how to say, “I’m sorry.” Be blessed!