Sorry, doesn’t always make it starry. Maybe next time be more charming, so you don’t have to say sorry. Lately, I’ve been reflecting on those lyrics to the new song “Sorry” by Stryper – one of my two favorite Christian bands of all-time (Bride being the other). The words aren’t all that elaborate, but they are straightforward and true. Our sorries aren’t always warmly accepted, so it’s certainly better if we can avoid having to apologize at all. However, a real problem facing this nation today is the fact that so many of us are unwilling to say the S word.
President Trump appears incapable of saying sorry. This isn’t just a Republican problem though. Hillary Clinton could only muster a partial apology, concerning her infamous e-mails, and only after months of continuous prodding to do so. I think what our country is currently sorely missing is humility. What if our politicians, bosses and co-workers, and even our own families decided to embrace this seemingly unconventional notion of humbling ourselves amongst our fellow man? Could we at least try? I’ll even go first.
First and foremost, my apologies to God. I’m sorry for the anguish and pain my Lord and Savior voluntarily endured on my behalf, even though I understand His unjust crucifixion was necessary for a lost world. The ridicule, torture, and inhumane (temporary) death Jesus suffered on the cross was God’s quintessential plan of providing a way for one day bringing all of His children who believe in Him home. I’m also sorry for the numerous times, whether blatantly or unexpectedly, I’ve taken advantage of God’s never-ending forgiveness. I know I’m not alone in this, for the Apostle Paul can surely empathize with my plight based on a portion of his letter to the Romans. Paul wrote, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15) God’s continuous goodness, in spite of our humanistic ways, is truly a mystery to me.
My apologies to my lovely wife. I often tell her I was put on this earth to make her happy, yet too many times those flashy words are meaningless when thoughts of myself take center stage. Similar to Kanye grabbing the microphone away from Taylor Swift, during her acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009, I too sometimes allow my ego to get in the way of her important moments. I’m sorry about that. The missus knows my faults and insecurities better than anyone, yet she treats me like I’m something special. I’m sorry for the times I haven’t returned the favor. She really deserves so much more. I’ve said it before, I married up.
I’m sorry for the times I’ve been a little harsh with my son. As he’s gotten older, the less he and I are alike. And there’s nothing wrong with that. My wife and I tried to raise our boy to be an independent free thinker, and now to my slight chagrin I believe we succeeded. Today, many of my impassioned views, on a wide variety of topics, are nowhere close to my son’s chosen outlook on life. Again, it’s okay that my child’s worldview aligns much closer to that of his grandfather’s than with mine. However, it’s not always easy to have a calm conversation, even with someone so dear to your heart, when there’s not a whole lot you can agree on. Nonetheless, I’m sorry to my son for the times I’ve probably made him feel as though his thoughts, concerns, and opinions weren’t as important as mine.
My apologies to my parents and to my siblings for the times I’ve let them down as a son and as a brother. I haven’t always been the most generous person with my time. I realize I’ve been somewhat removed from the family, both literally and figuratively, since moving to Arizona. I’m sorry for being insensitive, nonflexible, and short-tempered at times. I’m also sorry to past classmates I never paid any attention to, friends I drifted away from, by not making a concerted effort to retain them, and a couple of teachers whose lives I made more difficult than need be. I’ve now had over 50 years on this earth to have possibly offended others I am not even aware of, either by my actions or with my words, but I’m sorry to them just the same.
The truth is none of us could ever try hard enough to overcome our sinful nature, embedded at birth, all on our own. “Trying” can only take us so far when targeting holiness, and inevitably all will fall short. (Heck, I’ve been trying to incorporate an abs workout into my weightlifting routine since January – with zero luck.) Regardless of one’s willpower, complete self-control is simply unattainable in this life. The good news is we can come close to that goal – but only with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. He will help guide us toward holiness when we spend an abundance of quality time in the Word and in prayer with our Heavenly Father. Traits of Jesus will naturally pour out of us when we’re in a solid relationship with Him.
Just the other day I was channel surfing when I came across a TV evangelist saying something I found to be quite profound. He said something like this: the more we are like Jesus – the less we have to say. (That might be a little challenging for an aspiring writer such as myself.) I assume the preacher’s statement meant that an active Jesus follower would remain silent rather than argue, or engage in gossip or coarse dialog. However, I possibly could’ve misinterpreted the pastor’s intended message due to my clinically undiagnosed “flipping” problem; By the time I was done scanning the other channels to see what else was on, the evangelist was finished with his message. Nevertheless, I think the theory of having to say sorry less often, when one becomes charming and resembles Jesus more, holds true. Until then…who wants to go next?