What has been going round and round in my head the last month:
Since I don't live anywhere close to Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan, I listen to their podcasts and some of them over and over again. I have learned so much from them over the years. The current series which focuses on a word a month has been just what I have needed. December's sermons focused on the word "sorry." The first "sorry" sermon was about owning up to your junk. I thought I was pretty good about that. The purpose of saying we are sorry is to be honest and own up to our junk, yet when you think about it, we don't always, we just shift the blame to someone or something else.
The Sorry Examples:
"I am sorry, but. . ."
Oh I am so guilty of this. I will get snippy at Jeff or my mom and then say I am sorry, but then totally blame it on my stress or the kids. I need to stop and own up to the fact that I was not nice and it was uncalled for and just own it so it can be done.
"I am sorry if. . . "
You know used as "I am sorry if I offended you" or "I am sorry if I hurt you." These apologies are cover your butt apologies, when you don't know if you have hurt someone and need to apology so you kind of apology just in case, yet it means nothing because you aren't take real responsibility for it. I know I am guilty of saying I am sorry if I hurt you or if I offended you. I do this with new friendships when I say something that might be offensive, but it isn't necessarily to you or me, but others might take offense. To be totally honest most of the stuff that I may say or do that would need this apology is probably judgmental and should not be said to begin with.
"I am sorry you. . "
"I am sorry you feel that way," how many times have I heard that? I wonder how many times I am guilty of it, I can only think of the times that it has been said to me. I can remember the times this apology has been given to me because it doesn't improve the relationship, it makes the one hurt feel worse. When we say this we are basically telling the other person that they are the problem and that is just awful. I know how this breaks down the relationships further. I remember one time wanting to own up to my junk and fixing a broken relationship. Like all broken relationships, both parties are to blame and I remember apologizing and saying how sorry I was for things I had done to hurt them. I specifically remember the other person saying they were sorry I took things the way I did, or were offended by what they said, hey basically said it was all my fault. I will take blame for a lot of things, but not everything. I think of all the "I am sorry" excuses this one is the worse and I hope that I will remember the hurt when the blame just gets shifted back to you.
There were others, but those three were the ones that I need to work on and be more mindful of. I want to take responsibility for my junk, I am not perfect, and I am going to screw up, but I want to repair and grow relationships and not create more distance. We can't move on until we deal with our junk and I want to deal with stuff now not any later. How can I expect to be forgiven if I haven't owned up to what I have done?