How the Right Words Can Make All Difference

When our hearts break for another, saying sorry can soothe a hurting soul. The salve of sorry is far superior to empty words, mindless chatter, and know-it-all “whys” when nobody really knows why. Words like it was meant to be or it was God’s will or isn’t it time you moved on? can inflict harm, adding a burning sting like rubbing alcohol in a gaping wound. 

Holding our tongue is a silent blessing. In a heartfelt and compassionate gesture, we can offer these simple words…

I’m sorry. 

When Sorry Just Isn’t Enough

But when is I’m sorry just not enough? When we’ve hurt someone, wronged someone — just saying sorry is the easy road, the cop-out. Now is the time to release the tongue and name it — name the offense. We need to say it out loud.

I’m sorry for…

Because when we fail to name it, sorry loses its validity — its healing power. 

Step it Up

When we are the offender, let’s fess up and say we’re sorry for doing…, or saying…, or being… We owe it to the person we’ve hurt to name the offense, to own it — and not only that but step it up and ask forgiveness. We may not receive their forgiveness and perhaps we don’t deserve it. Yes, we probably don’t deserve it.

But God…

…forgives us when we don’t deserve it. Repentance is a powerful thing. His mercies are new every morning. God forgives but that person we hurt? It may take some time, like possibly an eternity. You see, God has an advantage over that hurting person. He knows our heart and He knows when we’re being real. And He not only wants to forgive us but He wants them to forgive us too. Because we must forgive to be forgiven. 

When It’s Our Turn to Forgive

If we are the ones in a position to forgive, we need to do ourselves a favor and be free. Be free of the grip of festering unforgiveness. Forgive. 

Forgiveness empowers us because no longer does that person have the power of the offense over us. No longer are we connected by the toxic nature of the offense.

Easier said than done? You betcha. Because it isn’t just about saying I forgive you, it’s about heart surgery — and heart surgery is never easy.

Forgiveness Does Not Mean It’s Okay

Forgiveness doesn’t right a wrong or lessen the offense. The very meaning of the word does not state I’m okay with what you did. It’s more like, I’m not okay with what you did, so don’t do it again, to me or anyone else.

According to Merriam Webster, the definition of “forgive” is to give up resentment. 

Forgiving breathes life back into desolate places. 

But the best reason to forgive? It blesses God.

Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

To forgive is to cut ties with the enemy of our soul who wants us to dwell. We certainly don’t want any soul ties with him. He delights in our wallowing and desires our hearts to turn from flesh to stone. But we are not alone. God plucks the thorns surrounding our hearts so healing can begin. 

So people can get close again. Closer to each other and closer to God.

Forgiveness is hard and sometimes forgiving ourselves is the hardest part. 

Doris Swift is the author of Goodbye, Regret: Forgiving Yourself of Past Mistakes. She loves to write, teach, and encourage. She reaches out to a community of women through her blog Walking Deeper at DorisSwift.com, at speaking events, and on her Walking Deeper Facebook page. As a leader in women’s ministry, her passion is to share God’s truth and disciple women to grow in faith as they follow Jesus. In ministry for over thirty years, she has been gifted to teach, speak, mentor, and counsel. It’s her joy to see women of all ages bloom in their purpose and calling. She’s written for various sites and publications such as Purposeful Faith, (in)courage, and Just Between Us magazine. Doris resides in Florida with her husband Brian. She enjoys traveling to historic cities, spending time with family, and loves being Gammy to her beyond adorable grand-kids. You’ll find her on the soccer field, rain or shine.
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Doris Swift is the author of Goodbye, Regret: Forgiving Yourself of Past Mistakes. She loves to write, teach, and encourage. She reaches out to a community of women through her blog Walking Deeper at DorisSwift.com, at speaking events, and on her Walking Deeper Facebook page. As a leader in women’s ministry, her passion is to share God’s truth and disciple women to grow in faith as they follow Jesus. In ministry for over thirty years, she has been gifted to teach, speak, mentor, and counsel. It’s her joy to see women of all ages bloom in their purpose and calling. She’s written for various sites and publications such as Purposeful Faith, (in)courage, and Just Between Us magazine. Doris resides in Florida with her husband Brian. She enjoys traveling to historic cities, spending time with family, and loves being Gammy to her beyond adorable grand-kids. You’ll find her on the soccer field, rain or shine.

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