2 Corinthians 5:18
I’ve heard that the two hardest words in the English language are “I’m sorry.” They’re easy enough words to pronounce but they are often hard to speak. But, when spoken sincerely they really do carry a lot of weight.
We tend to be what is referred to in some translations of the Bible as a stiff-necked people. We don’t much like to be wrong and we like even less to admit it. But sometimes we are wrong and in our wrongness, we cause a break in a relationship with someone we care about. That is painful for all involved.
Most of us at some time in our lives have been wronged and at other times we are the ones who have wronged someone else. That’s all a part of being way too human! We are imperfect. We feel pain and sometimes we cause pain in others.
When we cause pain, we are called to work on fixing it as best we can. Some pains just can’t really ever be truly erased. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do what we can to ease the pain we have caused others. That all important first step is admission and sincere apology. And then we go from there. At least we try.
A few years ago, I had a family member make some accusations against me that were not true. They were allegations that could actually be proven one way or the other and were ultimately proven to be false. I worked very hard to work from a place of forgiveness and not anger. Not because I was trying to be a wimp and let them get away with anything, but because I knew being angry and unforgiving was only going to hurt me, not the other person.
Sadly, there was no chance for actual reconciliation (which I truly believe would have ultimately happened) because just as the accusations were resolved my relative died suddenly and unexpectedly.
Several months later I had a dream where we were at a table in a restaurant just sharing a meal and visiting. It wasn’t a special meal, just hamburgers or something. But what it told me was that, as much as we could be for now, we were good. I had truly let go and let reconciliation happen – even without the consent of the other person. I realized that I only have control over my own reconciliation, not someone else’s. Ideally of course reconciliation involves both parties, but sometimes that’s just not possible so we have to do the best we can.
How pained God must have been when we disobeyed that first time and we humans came to know what “bad” was. Once we broke that relationship we weren’t able to fix it, to be fully reconciled to God. So, because of his amazing love for us, God did the fixing for us. Through Christ’s death on the cross we became fully reconciled with God – we were brought back into right relationship with him – for now and for always. He must really love us a lot!
Lord, Thank you for fixing what we couldn’t. Amen