Many moons ago, during Seinfeld’s infamous chronologically backwards episode, George blurted out the expression, “You can stick your sorry’s in a sack.” It wasn’t an expression then, at which time he was chided, and it never really caught on. But sometimes, “sticking our sorry’s in a sack” is actually more loving than saying “sorry” during those times, albeit rare, when it really isn’t our fault.
Much of church leadership, probably due to a lack of deep belief in the gospel, fails to apologize when necessary. But at times, I’ve found myself, actually apologizing on those rare occasions when its not totally my fault. Why?
Again, let me state that the pastor should be the lead repenter in the church and the guys the lead repenters in their homes. But at other times, when the fault lies very clearly with another, we should stick our sorry’s in a sack.
Here’s a few reasons why its so important.
1.) Truthful and Loving. If it is not truly your fault, and you had no part to play, then the offender needs to have the opportunity to confess. It’s not very loving to him/her if you don’t afford him such opportunity. Few issues are black and white, and often what is necessary is for both parties to confess. But if you confess that it is entirely your fault (when it isn’t), then you are neither being truthful or loving.
2.) Self-Protection. We have all kinds of ways to protect ourselves from getting hurt. All kinds. One way to protect yourself from a harsh reaction when someone else is in the wrong, (or mostly in the wrong), is to take complete blame. This isn’t a problem simply for the co-dependents out there. While this complete apology approach actually disarms the offender, and makes him or her a bit more civil, it is often done simply out of self-protection. You can easily avoid a necessary argument (which often leaves one uncomfortable) or discussion by simply taking all the blame. It seems like a humble posture, but it often is a form of dishonest manipulation to protect oneself from getting hurt in an argument or disagreement.
Don’t stop saying sorry, but simply examine why you do so.