My two year old boy is learning new words everyday. I’ve been teaching him to say “please” and “thank you” and “good morning”…and yes, we’ve also practiced “sorry”. He struggles immensely with that one. It is quite mind-blowing. How does he know that he doesn’t mean it…and so doesn’t want to say it?
Some argue that children don’t know the meanings of words they say. However, I think he knows exactly what it means, just like he knows what “thank you” means. He loves to say “thank you”, and he is deliciously cute when he does. Maybe because when he does, people go “aaah… how well mannered!” But he is only ever prompted to say “sorry” when he has done something he knows is bad, and is running away from discipline.
So, when he has done the wrong thing, and he can see in my face that I am not happy about it, and he knows in his heart that he is not sorry and in fact, he is thinking of when to do that same thing again…he doesn’t want to say “sorry”. I can shout, beg, plead nicely…he won’t budge, because he is not sorry! He doesn’t want to be sorry, because that would mean changing, and he is quite content as he is.
Yesterday, he did something naughty when we got to school (Creche more like!). He slapped me on the cheek to the surprise of his teachers. They immediately demanded that he say sorry, as did I, but he would not. His lips were sealed and his attention was in space, as his eyes glazed over. But he said “bye”.
When I returned to pick him up, his teacher reminded him that he owed me an apology. It was the same thing. I was thinking, this is really serious!!! So I dropped him, and said he would sleep in school, since he didn’t want to say “sorry” to me. He ran to me begging to be carried. I told him he must say “sorry”. And at last he did!!!
So, it’s really no joke that “sorry” is the hardest word. What makes it hard? I suppose it is the admission that we were wrong, and the shame of being corrected. I guess, fundamentally, it is an issue of pride and willfulness, and even children are not without these vices.
I do pray that we will all exercise the ability to say “sorry”, and be quick to smash our pride and apologise when we have done wrong, and hopefully, before we are corrected or compelled to apologise. It is good for our spirit to be so humble.
I just took a moment to apologise to God for something I did wrong yesterday that only He could possibly know, and for which He prodded my spirit at the time to do the right thing, but I disobeyed and rather wanted to act in pride. It is a shame that we will continually struggle with our flesh in this way. We do it because we want to be our own person, free with our own mind. But we are not our own people, we are God’s people, and we should be looking less like ourselves each day, and more like Him…
Do you have something to confess and repent of? Go on… God already knows and wants to restore you, because the truth is, just like I instantly forgave my toddler when he slapped me yesterday morning, God has already forgiven you! Don’t let pride get in the way of your relationship with the Father. Say “sorry” and be willing to be molded by Him.
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