In today’s society, being a Christian can have a negative connotation. Most non-Christians don’t have a problem with Jesus. Rather, they have a problem with the people who consider themselves Christians. An Indian philosopher named Bara Dada stated, “Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians, you are not like him.” Unfortunately, this can be too true. When reflecting on Dada’s statement, I have come to one explanation: we are flawed, imperfect people, and I am no exception. With that imperfection, comes Christians not acting very Christ-like.
Apologizing is one of the only Christian virtues Jesus never did Himself. Jesus never actually said “I’m sorry.” Perhaps this is why teachings about apologizing to non-Christians are far and few between. Come to think about it, I don’t think I have ever heard a sermon surrounding Christians apologizing to non-Christians.
So this is for you.
If you have ever been made to feel small by a Christian, here are a few things for which I’m sorry – seven letters, three syllables, two words.
I’m sorry if a Christian has thrown pain at you in the name of God.
I’m sorry if a Christian has used Jesus in places where He doesn’t want to be used.
I’m sorry if a Christian has shown intolerance for you due to your sexuality, ideas, politics or religion.
I’m sorry if a Christian has tried shoving religion down your throat.
I’m sorry if a Christian has judged you or looked down on you.
I’m sorry if a Christian has acted self-righteous, spiritually superior or like they were better than you.
I’m sorry if a Christian has been narrow-minded, deceptive or acted manipulatively.
I’m sorry if a Christian has said one thing and did the complete opposite.
I’m sorry if a Christian has cherry picked which parts of the Bible are the Truth.
I’m sorry if a Christian has ever lied to you for self-benefit.
I’m sorry if a Christian has argued with you about things that don’t have anything to do with Jesus, but they say they do.
I’m sorry if a Christian has refused to admit their wrongdoings.
I’m sorry if a Christian ever told you that you are less worthy of receiving God’s Grace.
Ultimately, I’m sorry that we have failed to show you the unconditional love Christ has for each of us, including YOU. We are all beloved children of God. So from one human to another…I’m sorry – seven letters, three syllables, two words.
But before I end this, I’d like to take a moment to address my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ…
As Christians, we sometimes find that our actions don’t always reflect our beliefs. God sent Christ into the world to save sinners, not to condemn them. Therefore, if Christ did not come to condemn sinners, neither should we. How will you ever be able to convince someone that they should explore Christianity if their only interaction with Christianity is a negative one?
We need to be careful with our words because once they are said, they can only be forgiven, but never forgotten. We are placed on this earth to glorify God and carry ourselves in a way that when others look at us, they catch a little glimpse of Jesus. We are called to be a reflection of the Person who lives within us. We need to embrace the idea of being humble servants who fiercely love everyone. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Apologizing is essential to loving. I encourage you to take a moment to think about how the world would be different if Christians throughout history had been brave enough to say seven letters, three syllables, two words – I’m sorry.