June 12, 2020

I’m sorry!

We have an “I’m sorry jar” in our Kola Sunday school classroom. The deal is that every time one of us says “I’m sorry” or “sorry”, we put a dollar in the jar. I have to wonder if my classmates and I are related since it just slips into many of our conversations.

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How often do you say, “I’m sorry” each day? It is a part of my native language and rolls off of my tongue as freely off of my tongue as does my Pittsburghesse pronunciation of “tournament” as “tournament”. It is a part of my mother tongue, and my mom’s “I’m sorry” is an unwanted soundtrack that loops through my mind. 

Assuming that I had perfected saying it by the age of three, and have said it once a day since then, I have uttered that phrase 23,360 times, I’m sorry (oops) to say. If I had a dollar for each of those times, I’d be able to take us all on a nice vacation, if only we could go somewhere. Even if it was only a penny, that would still add up to the hefty sum of $2,336.

I have a theory about “I’m sorry,” that is related to shame.  Sometimes, when I’ve done something wrong, it is appropriate, and necessary, to say, “I’m sorry.” That’s an appropriate response to guilt.  But sometimes I am apologizing for being me, and that is not appropriate. That is shame. Shame is what made Adam and Eve hide from God, as God sought them out in the cool of the evening, even though they’d gone against God’s rule. David, in Psalm 139 writes, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

That “I’m Sorry” Jar is a good reminder to be as kind to ourselves as we are to others, and the dollar drives the lesson home in a tangible way.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! And I am not sorry about that! ~ Anne

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