A Sorry Discipline

A Sorry Discipline

Saying sorry, apologising, or confessing our sins to each other is a Christian habit, skill, and discipline.

Saying sorry is a Christian habit because sinning is a habit. For every time we sin against somebody else we must confess our sins to God and apologise to the person we sinned against. “I am sorry” must be a regular part of the Christian vocabulary.

Saying sorry is a Christian skill. Our “sorrys” must be accurate as we take responsibility and own specific actions. Our “sorrys” must be well-timed and well-worded for the benefit of the person we have sinned against.

Saying sorry is a Christian discipline. To say sorry is to be responsible for sinful behaviour and to commit to changing that behaviour for the glory of God and the healing of relationship.  Saying sorry and living repentant lives is hard; requiring humility. Discipline is required as the other person expresses their pain and disappointment upon us.

Skills, habits, and disciplines demand repetition. You cannot be in a habit if you never repeat the action. You can never increase a skill without practising it again and again.  Christians need to practise our apologies.

Last but not least “sorrys” are transformative. A genuine apology supplemented with genuine change in attitude and behaviour (known as repentance) transforms relationships. Saying “sorry” from the heart, and committing to changing for the sake of the other, transforms the offender too.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. (Rev 3:19)

Denis Oliver