A few years ago, my bride and I stood at an altar among a crowd of witnesses on a gorgeous fall Saturday and took vows in front of them and the Lord. Standing in front of us was our good friend and longtime mentor, Casey Sanders, who was promoted only a month earlier from best man to “dude who married us”. As I reflect back on the ceremony, I recall a statement he made as he gave a benediction – “May your home never be one where the words ‘I’m sorry’ are heard. May it be a home where the words ‘I was wrong. Please, forgive me’ are heard.”
When I heard him say it for the first time I knew it was an important blessing. I just never really worked out the value of it until about a month ago. I was sitting down with him telling him about a few major disagreements we’d had that week and how I had said some bone-headed things to Cristine that I knew were wrong as soon as I heard them exit my mouth. I told him I told her I was sorry right away and he rebuked me.
Huh? I said I was sorry.
“Never say you’re sorry.”
I gave him a Scooby-Doo look and practically said “Raggy?” Then he said something that turned me on my ear: “Sorry’s not biblical.”
The word ‘sorry’ appears only twice in the entire bible – once in Exodus 2.6 and once in 2 Corinthians 7.9. Neither time does it have to do with “apologizing” as we know it contemporarily. Apology doesn’t even appear in the bible at all. The Greek word “apologia” appears about 8 times, but it means something markedly different – it means “to give an answer for ones’ self”, “a reasoned statement or argument”, or “a verbal defense”.