Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation
and leaves no regret… 2 Corinthians 7:10
If you want someone to respond positively to a confession, make it a point to acknowledge and express sorrow for how you have hurt or afflicted them. Your goal is to show that you understand how the other person felt as a result of your words or actions. Here are a few examples of how this can be done:
“You must have been terribly embarrassed when I said those things in front of everyone. I’m very sorry I did that to you.”
“I can see why you were frustrated when I didn’t deliver the parts on time. I’m sorry I failed to keep my commitment to you.”
Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 130.
Food for Thought
How easily do you say, “I’m sorry”?
There was a pop song back in the 80’s that got a lot of radio play; the title was Hard for Me to Say I’m Sorry. The lyrics accurately named the tension of “I really want to say it, but it’s really hard for me to do it.” Does that tension feel familiar? Yeah, me too.
My, how quickly we forget. We forget how incredibly powerful those two little words are — “I’m sorry.” They can defuse a tense situation in a heartbeat. When we honestly express sorrow for what we’ve done, we’re taking the initiative to level things. Rather than looking down our nose at someone, we look him square in the eyes. And it is there, on that face-to-face level, where words like “confession” and “forgiveness” really mean something.
A life lived without regret is a tall order. But being able to say, “I’m sorry” — as hard as it is — is a step in the right direction. So move beyond just wanting to say you are sorry and actually do it.
I have a hard time saying I’m sorry and probably even a harder time realizing I need to say I’m sorry.
My hubby has a hard time, too. Someday we will have world peace when everyone can just say “I’m sorry”.