Luke 15:7 NIV
7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Deep in my heart, I have locked away feelings of unsaid sorry. They sit waiting for the right moment to remind me they need attention. A picture, a place, a situation, a name. Anyone of these could trigger the lock to release and one to spill out.
I have hurt many people and have been hurt by people too. Each interaction will eventually lead to the need of; “I’m sorry.” We make mistakes, hold in pride, and justify our actions to avoid looking as if we are wrong.
My past dances like a shadow just out of reach. The silent movie of a period of time where a wrong was done and never recognized. It haunts and taunts and lets me know that this should never of happened. I didn’t deserve the outcome. In turn, the death of someone close brings up the need to redo all the wrong I may have inflicted. How could I have treated this person in the manner in which I see was selfish and judgmental. If only there was, “I’m sorry”.
At times these three little words, can change the course of our’s and other’s lives. We have a choice. Often times the person who felt wronged and was wrong, walks away and avoids the reminder. The relationship that was, no longer exists.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
What can we do to let go of this need for “sorry”?
Judge and you too will be judged in the same manner. If we let go and forgive the wrong, ours too will be forgiven. Yet, easier said than done.
Luke 6: 27-36
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Our need for the apology stems from our unmet expectations. One person’s wrong is another person’s right. Jesus has shown us that we need to love just as He has loved us unconditionally. He isn’t picky and just wants all people of all walks to accept Him as their savior. They will not meet His expectations, but He still loves.
Luke 15: 11-32
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
In this parable, Jesus tells us that sorry isn’t needed. Our humility, our love, and devotion are what provides the forgiveness. He celebrates us when we commit our hearts to Him and allow Him to work out our wrongs and hurts side by side. Only He can do this for us and no person will ever be able to love us in this way.
Our expectations of others should be tempered with salt. There is only one who was and is sinless. There is only one who accepted all sin for human kind. Humans are sinners. They will always need to be in His corner. Jesus is love and will show us how to let go and allow Him to do all the heavy lifting.
I unlock my secret place in my heart, and call Him to enter. Here is where the need for “sorry” is met with “you are loved”.
1 John 4: 10
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.