Sorry Doesn’t Cut It!

As I was saying it I was trying to grab it and pull it back into my body!  These words were making it worse.  They were self-serving, emotional, defensive and attacking all in one outburst.  I could already tell how they were landing and it was not good.  I had to explain myself but I knew it wouldn’t be clear.  I didn‘t mean it.  I was sorry I said it (well, sort of).  What I was really sorry about was that you heard these undeniable words come out of my mouth and you believed that I did mean them.  Sorry wasn’t being believed.  It couldn’t be believed! Sorry Doesn’t Cut It!

You are human and you have likely experienced something similar.  “Sorry” is the magic word, right?  It makes hurts go away.  It takes my bad behavior or words and explains them as “just a mistake”.  It wishes that these consequences would just go away.  This isn’t that big of a deal.  It hopes to simply “move on”.  But Sorry Doesn’t Cut It!

As we discussed last time, the 1st “Re” — RECOGNIZE — is the critical turf we must walk on if we are going to experience lasting change in our lives.  But recognizing we have a problem is far from enough.  What must happen next?

The next level requires “getting sick of” the problem.  Another way to say it is, “I’m so sorry this keeps happening, or won’t go away, or others are being so negatively affected by it, or everything I’ve done to stop isn’t working, or, or, or…”.  The problem with “Sorry”, while often being a sincere feeling, usually is that it overflows from guilt and shame and self-condemnation.  It is a self-defense tactic of the soul.  It doesn’t work!  They do not produce sustainable change because they can not motivate us.  Sorry produces greater efforts to not do it again.  It concentrates on behavior modification.  “I’ll show you this isn’t who I really am, this won’t happen again.”  AND THEN IT DOES!  Every addict wakes up the next day and says “that’s got to stop!”.  Every broken relationship experiences promises to “not do that again”.  UNTIL THEY DO IT AGAIN!  Sorry Doesn’t Cut It!

Scripture uses the word “Sorrow”.  It makes us think of grief or loss.  In fact, it is the same root word in “Sorry”.  2 Corinthians 7:8-11 talks of a worldly sorrow, the kind of emotions all humans experience along the way.  But then the Bible says “…BUT THERE IS A GODLY SORROW…”

When does “Sorry” lead to something that actually changes us?  It leads us to the place of the 2nd “Re” — REJECT!

Are you stuck in sorry?  If “Sorry doesn’t cut it”, what does cut it?!    Stay tuned.

 By Dave Galbraith

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