A few years ago I was in the kitchen cooking, preparing supper for 10 people when I heard an exclamation from my young grandson saying, “Oh NO, I spilled my tea!” I started gathering a cloth to go and clean it up, hoping it hadn’t landed on the carpet.
The events of the next few moments are a blur, as according to him the entire unfortunate event somehow became my fault! It ended with his mom saying she would call his dad so that he could have a “talk” with him, which he seemed to think would not happen! Suddenly as the call was being made I was summoned…”Mammy can you come here?” “Sure baby, what is it?” He put his little hands on both sides of my face as I leaned down to his level and he whispered, “I accept your apology“, I didn’t want to laugh out loud, but it was a struggle! His mom said, “What did you say?” He was caught! He was supposed to tell me he was “sorry”. It was very hard for those words to cross his lips and was something the two of them had already had the “talk” about.
Then he tried another way to get around having to say it, he asked me, “Do you know what ‘apology’ means?” “Yes”, (then from across the room) “Gabe, what were you supposed to say?” It finally happened, he squeezed out the words “I am sorry“. He looked so relieved that it was over and then asked me if I would give him a big hug! Of Course I did!
In thinking about it, I realize that “I’m sorry” are two words that are very hard for most people to say.
What is the solution?
Conduct yourself in a manner so that you never NEED to say them, which is easier said than done,
Proverbs 15:1-4 A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense. God doesn’t miss a thing-he’s alert to good and evil alike. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
The things we think of and let come out of our mouth makes up who we are.
Go back to Philippians 4:8 Finally brethren whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.
Am I going to tell you that I am a perfect example of being constantly positive and thinking positive thoughts?
I am consistently positive, meaning that whenever I catch myself sinking into the dregs of despair I do what I heard daddy say in a sermon when I was a little girl, “I pick myself up by the ‘scruff’ of the neck haul myself to the altar and give it all to the Lord!”
I talked with a friend about the “I’m sorry” thing and he said something that made me think… “Forgiveness has to do with saying I’m sorry but that is never appropriate without finishing it off with, “Please forgive me”.
The end of the story about the forced apology is, that night my grandson was back in form with the prayer for our supper as he thanked God for His good Son Jesus, and said, “I know you would like to have more time to play with Him, Amen.”