The Toughest Words To Say!
I’m working on a sermon right now. The topic; humility. More specifically I am trying to answer the question; can I love like Jesus? Jesus had a love that was rooted firmly in humility. There was no sense of arrogance with Jesus. Never a time when He forgets His mission and uses His power for Himself. Never a time He fails to think of others. Jesus is the absolute, most humble man to ever walk the earth, yet the most powerful at the same time.
1 Corinthians 13:4 – “Love does not brag, it is not proud.”
Jesus never puffed Himself up. He never made Himself a display. He never sought riches of earth. He never embellished Himself to make it to the top. No, but He did humble Himself even to the point of death, death on a cross. Jesus was humble. Love is humble. Jesus is love.
This got me thinking about me. It raised a mirror to my face. It made me confront the ugliest side of me. My pride. It wasn’t long before this became very practical for me. Allow me to set the stage.
I woke up one morning in a bad mood. I was not myself. I’m not even sure why I was so grumpy, I just know I didn’t feel like myself. Before my kids had even left for school I had already been a little bit of a jerk to them. Before my wife even left for work I had already made things awkward with her. I wish I could remember the details, but I think I tried to block that morning out. It simply wasn’t pretty.
It so happens that morning that my son left his backpack in the van. I begin to drive it to his school and the entire way I’m thinking to myself, “I need to surrender my pride. I need to go home and apologize. I need to say, “Sorry,” to my wife. I need to hug my kids and apologize. I need to just man up and do the right thing.” Intellectually, I knew exactly what had to be done. I pulled in the driveway, walked in the door, sat at the table and for the better part of the day felt like I gave my wife the cold shoulder. Why? What kind of jerk acts that way? I know what I need to do, why can’t I do it?
Because there are two words that for some reason are the toughest words to say; “I’m sorry.” Instead of telling people, “I’m sorry,” we use a lot of other language. We say things like, “Yeah, I feel really guilty about that.” Or we say, “I know I shouldn’t have acted that way,” or even, “Yeah, that was a stupid thing to do.” We hurt people in our lives. We all make mistakes. Not one of us is perfect. We all probably owe at least one person in our lives an apology. A good old-fashioned, “I’m sorry.” But there’s this little thing called pride. Our pride elevates us above the idea that we could possibly make a mistake. And the words, “I’m sorry,” seem to be an admission that we are at fault. Well, we can’t have any of that can we? We want to maintain an outer appearance of perfection and having it all together, while on the inside we rot away because our hearts and minds are pushing us toward what we know we need to do and say.
This is a very personal post for me (I understand you might think that there are different words that are the toughest to say). I can think of many people in my life I need to apologize to. If I truly want to love the way Jesus did, I need to humble myself and not allow pride to deceive me.
Now, the questions can be directed at you.
Who do you need to apologize to?
Do you have a hard time apologizing?
Think of a recent instance in your life that requires an apology on your part?
Have you apologized yet?
If not, find someone and ask them to hold you accountable. Make your relationships right. Love people with a humble love. And at least for me, that can sometimes mean saying, “I’m sorry.”