Sunday, May 5, 2013

Language

How often do you think of what you say and how you say it?


Today, the sermon at church was about forgiveness. Specifically, the four parts of requesting forgiveness - I love you, I'm sorry, please forgive me, and thank you. I became enthralled with the use of this simple language, specifically the "thank you".

Too many apologies are "Sorry you are upset" or "Sorry your feelings are hurt". It's a back-handed slap. A passive aggressive excuse of an apology. But most people seem to feel saying "sorry" is enough. It may be just my ear - but I hear entitlement often in apologies rather than sincerity.

This type of "sorry" miss the spirit of apology, which is present in acknowledging the harm done and being grateful for the love given in the act of forgiveness. There is faith in that, too. Faith that the love is strong enough that you will be forgiven. To be forgiven may be the ultimate gift of love.

I probably don't give forgiveness often enough.  And I know I don't request forgiveness as often as I should. But there is a magic in that sequence of request: I love you, I'm sorry, please forgive me, and thank you.

Take-away - Think about what you say and how you say it. Thank you for reading this.