Love Means Saying “I’m Sorry”!
My word for today is: APOLOGIZE – to express regret for something one has done wrong; saying “sorry”, asking for forgiveness; asking for pardon
Today is the last day of February, the month I deemed early on as the LOVE month. What a better way to end it than with an appeal for us to live in self-awareness of our words and actions. The saying goes “Time heals all wounds”, but not all. Sometimes a stronger salve than time is needed to restore wholeness and full health to those we may have hurt, intentionally, and even those things that weren’t meant to hurt. Maybe it was just a curt remark or some smack talk that seemed playful at the time, but those little remarks can sting and be hurtful. At the time it seemed so innocent in our eyes, but by the look in their eyes, we know we hurt them. The question is “Do we let it go as playful fun, or are we quick to APOLOGIZE?”
One of my favorite all-time movies was “Love Story” (1970) with Ryan O’Neal (Oliver) and Ali McGraw (Jenny). Oliver blamed himself for keeping Jenny from her music career and when he was apologizing, Jenny’s love for him was far greater to her. That’s when she said that famous line. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”. At that moment in the movie, I was moved to tears, but, in reality, “Jenny” got it all wrong.
Love doesn’t mean “never having to say “I’m Sorry”, and it’s sure not a line that God EVER uses. APOLOGIZING and expressing regret for the mistakes we make is the language of love. God’s love. In fact, Jesus APOLOGIZED for mankind when He cried out, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
On this last day of this month of love, I’m driving home the importance of being a lover. The Apostle Paul told us how: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). And, when we miss that mark, LOVE means ALWAYS saying “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.”
In our world of social and political hostilities with all of the rash comments, quick retorts back and forth to each other, this is the time when we, who live above that fray, should be setting the example of mending torn and broken hearts. When we say to our brothers and our sisters, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me,” there is hope for healing, restoration, and reconciliation. May we let go of our need to always be right, cast aside our pride and say in words and actions, “I APOLOGIZE! Please forgive me.” And, by the way, from our heart when we say “I’m so sorry, Father God, for the mistakes I’ve made and change my habits so I use my tongue to speak hope and favor upon others”, we’ll see the greatest example of love ever given when He opens His arms of love to us and says “I forgive you….now go and sin no more.”