CAN YOU SAY "I'M SORRY"?
"If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering."
There was an article in the paper a few weeks ago about a former Dallas City Council member who was indicted for embezzling $20,000 in public funds. He was caught red handed with ample evidence to prove his wrongdoing. His own attorney told the jury in his closing arguments that the former city official "may be guilty of a state theft charge, but he's not guilty of a federal crime." Amazingly, this convicted former city official when asked by the judge to publicly apologize and admit to the crime, he adamantly refused. He chose a month in prison over an apology. WOW!
EATING HUMBLE PIE
What is this man's problem? P-R-I-D-E... plan and simple. Obviously, what this man did was wrong, yet his rotten pride keeps him from humbling himself and making things right. He would rather spend a month in jail than eat a slice of humble pie. How sad.
Did you know there are three things a prideful person has great difficulty in saying?
1. I was wrong.
2. I am sorry.
3. I need your forgiveness.
Can you say those things to others when you mess up with your friends, family, neighbors and work associates? Can you say those things to God when you sin? Being a good apologizer (confessing and repenting) is critical if you want to be a dynamic Christian.
About three years ago, I had a disagreement with a friend. The meeting got tense... and both of us were wrong in our responses. A few hours after the meeting, the Lord convicted me of my part of the wrong. I knew I needed to get things right. I called this person and basically said, "I was wrong. I am sorry. I need your forgiveness." Although this person never reciprocated (he did not think he did anything wrong), my heart and conscience were clear before God. I had certainly blown it... but I chose to take responsibility for my sin and failure and make amends with the one I offended.
Is there someone you have hurt by your attitude, actions, or words that you have never apologized to? Have you been trying to justify your pride and stubbornness, even though, deep down, you know that God wants you to humble yourself and get things right?
I would be lying if I said apologizing is not hard to do. Eating humble pie is not our favorite thing. But, like bad tasting medicine going down, it sure makes you feel better once it hits your system.
Search your heart (Ps. 139:23-24). Is there a person with whom you need to make amends? Don't delay. A close, satisfying walk with God depends upon you and me getting things right with people we have wronged. Trust God. Push through the fear and pride. Open your mouth in apology... and watch God do a great work in and through you.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.