I never would’ve used the word to describe me…which probably means I should have.
Sounds so offensive, don’t you think?
First year of marriage and after every argument, when we’d made it through the thick silence and slowly let go of some of the anger. We’d talk it out. We’d at least try. We’d finish the conversation with no resolve. And he said I was ‘defensive.’
Defensive? Me? But I said I was sorry. I said I was sorry I’d made him feel that way, sorry he’d taken it that way, sorry he didn’t like things that way. How could the person saying “sorry” be the one labeled “defensive?”
My defense closed the case and he decided to drop the label. It took a few years before I started to see myself-see more of what he was seeing.
Scripture’s full of encouragement to become like Jesus-we are made in His image after all.
- Love like Jesus
- Forgive like Jesus
- Give like Jesus
- Serve like Jesus
- Sacrifice like Jesus
And sometimes, we can do just enough of this Jesus following and start to forget that we’re not Jesus. No, we’d never say we could save the world. We never claim to be super human. But, we live like it just might be true. We so enjoy seeing how far we’ve come that we forget how far there is to go. And when we rub against others and sparks fly, we’re sure the problem must be them…can’t be us.We’re following Jesus, after all.
While Scripture commands us to accept Christ’s spirit and become like Him in so many ways, there is one way of life we’re to accept that Jesus never did-to admit failure, take our part of the blame, to own the sin that’s ours to own.
Jesus never said He was sorry and He never will. He never admitted failure and He’ll never have reason to. He never owned his part of the problem because the problem was all ours.
But I’m not Jesus and so there are countless reasons for me to say it countless times: ‘I’m sorry.’
Not the ‘I’m sorry’ like I said to Jason. Not, “I’m sorry you don’t like the way I am.” But, “I’m sorry for the sin wrapped up in the way I am. I own the fact that I’m a part of this mess because there’s mess inside of me. I may not see all the ways I’m failing right now, but I’m praying for help to know myself and my sin better.”
Deep down, I know I’m not Jesus. But I am what Jason said: I’m defensive. I don’t want to be wrong, don’t want to be called out, don’t want to be the one to blame. But if I’m sure I’m not Christ, then it’s time I admit it, by owning my sin and saying, “I’m sorry.”
Recently I had a chance to tell a friend that I was sorry…and Christ helped me to take that chance and finally say it. And it was the most refreshing and satisfying feeling I’ve felt in quite a while. It’s hard to explain how it feels to fully own all of the mistake and say it out loud. So, I’m revisiting this post from last year and asking for grace to say these two words more often.
Let’s tell the world we’re following Jesus. Let’s become more like Him by loving and serving and forgiving and sacrificing. But let’s always, always, always remind the world that we’re not Jesus by saying what He’ll never say. And when we do, we’ll hear heaven rejoicing…
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7
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