Sorry, but I’m not Sorry


There are two great phrases in our society that in someway, as supposed to relieve us of all responsibility of what we just said. “Just Saying” and “I’m Sorry but…” While the first I’ve yet to understand the purpose, even though I use it myself, it has become apparent to me that “I’m sorry but…” is just not sincere anymore.

I’m sure you’ve seen the posts, and heard statements. “I’m sorry, but I just had to post this song even though it may not be the best to listen to.” “I’m sorry  for all the pics, but there are so many good ones!” Or how about in speech, “I’m sorry I ate yours, but it was good!” I’m sure we could make the example list a mile long, but I am assuming you are getting the idea. ;)

I do this just as much as anyone today, so don’t think I’m proceeding on a pretense of having my speech perfect. No, I’m sharing observations today on a habit I think worthy of removing from communication with others. What does it truly mean to be sorry? According to Webster, it is to “feel sorrow, regret, or penitence.” Now, to be clear, being sorry is not the same of being repentant.

You can be sorry all day long, but never improve or change. Therin lies the problem.

If we were truly sorry about something, truly felt sorrow saying something, I’d venture to say we would in fact not say it at all. However. We aren’t really upset or sad, we just want to keep ourselves out of trouble, so we use a word associated with regret, even though we don’t mean it. We have, in one sense, so corrupted this word, the contextual meaning has been lost. Sorry used to convey a genuine apology. It meant “I apologize for the offense against you.”, but not anymore. Honestly though, the true problem does not lie in the changed meaning of a word, but rather, something more serious.

The problem, lies at the heart of repentance. 

Based on reading of  scripture, I have found that repentance does not come of its own accord. It comes with a two fold heart that is truly sorry for the actions it commits, and the spirit working through the person to  feel that sorrow and then change their actions for the better. This can also be called the process of “Sanctification”. In the world, true repentance is nonexistent. Is it any wonder then that the basic premiss of the start of repentance has also been corrupted? In the words of Paul, Certainly not.

The solution, lies at the heart of repentance.

As always, the heart is the origin of all problems and solutions. So how does this apply to Christians today, who are apart from the world in this matter? For one, perhaps a reevaluation of what sorriness, apologies, and repentance is should be in order. This is the easy part frankly, as scripture is clear on what this is. Often though, I forget or need to be reminded of what it says, so that evaluation is always important.

Words are important, and how we use them determines whether we are communicating for Christ, or for the world. This is  just one phrase of many which I believe can be changed to the better, an remade into a statement of credibility, not irresponsibility.

Will you join me? Or do you have a different opinion? Be sure to let me know down below! :)

One thought on “Sorry, but I’m not Sorry

  1. First of all, excellent post, Austin. :) Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time studying this principal in my counseling class and, as a result, we’ve stopped just saying “Sorry” in my family. It’s always “I’m sorry for [identify sin]. Will you please forgive me?” It’s remarkable how much better it resolves issues because both parties have a responsibility. It’s long, but Dr. Jay Adams has a quote on the subject that’s worth sharing here:

    “Seeking forgiveness is not apologizing. There is nothing in the Bible about apologizing. Apologizing is the world’s substitute for forgiveness, and it doesn’t get the job done. You apologize and say, “I’m sorry,” but have not admitted your sin. The offended party feels awkward, not knowing how to respond. You are still holding the ball. You asked him to do nothing. But, confess your sin to him saying, “I have asked God to forgive me, and now I’m asking you,” and you pass the ball to the other person. You ask him to bury the matter for good. Jesus commands him to say “yes,” thereby making the promise that God does:  “Your sins and your iniquities will I remember against you no more.” That brings the matter to a conclusion. Apologizing does not.”

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