We humans have a terrible time admitting when we are in the wrong. There’s always some justification for our actions, often that we were wronged first, or we had no choice, or some such nonsense. Misunderstandings escalate into disagreements, which quickly become heated arguments, and nobody really wins in the end. Sometimes good friends end up enemies, all because no one will say those two simple, yet truly difficult, words: “I’m sorry.”
We all often have the same problem with God. We know we have not acted as we really should, but we just can’t let go of pride and say we are sorry. But scripture tells us that is all God really wants, is for us to admit we missed the mark.
Take the stories of King David and King Saul. Both were in the wrong. David committed adultery, and then had the husband of the woman he had slept with sent to the front lines of a battle, knowing he would be killed. But when the prophet Nathan brought his transgressions to David’s attention, David’s response was a remorseful attitude. David immediately fell to his knees and confessed his sin, and he was forgiven.
Saul, on the other hand, committed a transgression that seems much less serious. He counted his army. Doesn’t sound like much of a sin, does it. But what Saul really did was to not trust God that he could win the battle as God had told him he would. Not only did Saul not trust God, he refused to confess his lack of trust. Instead he made excuses, tried to justify his actions. As a result, God took away Saul’s kingdom and gave it to David, and Saul was not forgiven.
What have we lost because we refuse to say we are sorry? A kind word, an admission of our own contribution to a dispute, can go a long way toward healing relationships. And what are we without relationships? Is there someone you need to say “I’m sorry” to today? What’s holding you back? What have you got to lose? More importantly, think what you have to gain.