“I am sorry” is a statement.
It is not the best thing to say when you have wronged someone and are trying to make amends. You see by making a statement there is no act of contrition. You have done wrong but the ball is still in your court. When we ask the other person to forgive us then we move from a statement to a humble request.
I’m sorry is best for minor offenses. “I’m sorry I was grumpy.””I’m sorry I forgot the salsa.” “I’m sorry I woke you up.” ‘I’m sorry I tracked mud in the house.”
For anything that is a significant offense it is more honoring to say “Please forgive me.” “Please forgive me for yelling at you” “I want to ask your forgiveness for hurting your feelings.” “Please forgive me for not asking your advice in this situation.”
When we use the words “please forgive me”that confesses the wrong doing and now says that you are humbly asking that person to offer you forgiveness – forgiveness that we may not deserve to receive.
Ouch! The pain of humility. But oh the glory of reconciliation! When a person hears “Would you forgive me?” they are hearing a person who wants to do whatever it takes to get things right.
“I am sorry” tells me how you feel but it stops there. A thief could be sorry, a murder could be sorry, a felon could be sorry, but if they go the extra mile and ask forgiveness then they are moving in the direction of healing and reconciliation.
I recently had a pastor hurt me very deeply. I was in his office and he said “I was wrong. I apologize.” It was fine to hear that but it did not take the weight of hurt off my heart. He made a statement and left me wounded .
The next time you hurt someone go the extra mile – say “I was wrong, I want to ask your forgiveness. Please forgive me.” What if they don’t forgive you? That is between them and God. You have done your best. You have to let it go.
Begin to be more than sorry – begin to live as a healer.
If you are struggling with healing for your hurting heart listen to Inner Healing for encouragement.