In 1970 Ali McGraw uttered the words, “Love means never having to say your sorry,” to Ryan O’Neal on her deathbed. I was a young woman at the time and the romance and sadness of the moment resonated with me. It seemed the perfect thing for her to say, but was it?
There are times when the phrase, “I’m sorry” is just that – empty words. They don’t really mean anything, because they are said out of obligation. Being truly contrite means that we know we have done something wrong and feel guilt over it.
Why is it such a blessing to forgive someone for hurting you in some way – for embarrassing you or for causing you anxious moments? Why are we so afraid to ask for forgiveness? Is it because we fear rejection? Is it because we hate to admit we’re wrong?
What does God say about saying your sorry? He expects it. In order for us to receive all the benefits of His kingdom, we must come before Him with contrite hearts – begging for forgiveness – truly regretting our ability to keep His commandments – but also fully confident that He does forgive.
When we forgive another person, it frees us from anger, hatred and a whole assortment of emotions, When God forgives – we are the ones who are free. He gives us that freedom without cost. He gives it because we say we’re sorry. So love really means saying your sorry.
God I know that I have fallen short of your commandments. I also know that your love for me is limitless. You ask only one thing of me – my repentance. I’m sorry for not placing my complete trust in You. I can’t even begin to say all the things I’m sorry for, but I know that your have invited me to lay my sins on Jesus and that through Him I will receive your forgiveness. Help me always to follow His example in my life and though I am free, allow me to be a servant for your name’s sake.