Ever said those words? I have heard it in my store, in the grocery store, today at a park … everywhere. Families interacting … the hectic pace of the holidays … the short tempers … selfishness … stubbornness … both in children and adults. When the offender is called to task for their behavior they utter a meager ‘sorry’. To which the other responds, “sorry doesn’t cut it”. How many times do you hear your child say they are sorry and know they do not mean it? How many times do you utter the word ‘sorry’ because it is expected? Worse, how many times do you tell the Lord sorry for the same repeated offense?
Children are watching. They see you tell God you are sorry and tell others you are sorry. They watch you tell your spouse you are sorry and hopefully they hear you tell them you are sorry when you should. How you say you are sorry is more than likely the same way they will grow up telling others they are sorry.
An apology should equal in fervency the intensity of the insult, accusation or ‘crime’. Did you get that? Think about what it means. Sometimes sorry does not cut it … you need to really apologize in equal proportion to how much you hurt them. NOT how much you think you would have been hurt in their place, but, listening carefully to them express their pain, you respond in kind with your words and actions.
However, that being said, do not hold your breath for someone to apologize. God has to deal with some people a long time before they learn how to apologize and mean what they say. You must learn to let go, and teach your children how to ‘let it go’. The Bible says:
Ephesians 4:26 “don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry…”
We should keep short accounts and not hold grudges. NEVER go to bed mad. That was one of my rules when the girls were home. No tears or pain will be remembered as deeply as the knowledge that you let someone slip away without settling accounts. I often have said how glad I was that my middle brother and I talked early in the morning and were on good accounts when the plane crash took him away that day.
Start today with telling God how sorry you really are and do not repeat patterned prayers. Talk to Him. Let your children hear apologies and make sure you include an apology to them. when needed. Always make sure you go to whom God places on your conscience through the Holy Spirit and make real apologies that fall in line with the real pain inflicted. Keep tabs of your accounts and keep them short.