I'm Sorry Is Not An I'm Sorry
2 Corinthians 7:9
Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
There is a mindset among people that if we say we are sorry that it absolves us of any responsibility. However, true sorrow is not just saying I’m sorry. Paul said that he rejoiced that this church sorrowed to repentance. In other words, he said that he rejoiced, not that they sorrowed, but that they changed their ways.
Many relationships are hurt because a person has done wrong and said they were sorry, only to go back to the same thing they did that hurt a person. There comes a point in any relationship where the “I’m sorry” is empty because it has been said so many times. You can say you are sorry, but true sorrow will result in change. Let me share several things that sorrow is not.
First, sorrow is not being sorry that you got caught. Many are only sorry that they got caught and not that they did wrong. If you are only sorry because you got caught, you will continue your deception and try a different way to continue your sin without getting caught. There is a danger in getting caught and not in being truly sorrowful for what you have done because you will search for ways to better hide what you are doing in hopes that you won't get caught again. You must be careful not to use sorrow as a tool to become more deceptive in your ways.
Second, sorrow is not a crutch to get you out of the consequences of deliberate wrong. People often say it is easier to get forgiveness than permission, but that is a rebel mindset. It may be easier to get forgiveness, but that does not make doing wrong okay. It is a terrible mindset to get into seeking forgiveness after you purposely knew that is what you would do after you did the wrong.
Third, sorrow is not being sorry that you must suffer consequences; this is not sorrow but selfishness. The only reason a person is sorry about this is because they don't like that their sinful life is disrupted. One can certainly be sorry they must suffer consequences, but this is not genuine sorrow.
Fourth, sorrow is not being sorry that others must endure your sin. You can say that you are sorry that someone has to put up with what you are doing, but that is not true sorrow. These are merely empty words when you continue to make others suffer because of your selfish sins.
So, if these are not true sorrow, what is true sorrow? True sorrow is changing your ways. All of these things above may be true, but true sorrow is changing your ways. Most people could care less if you say you are sorry as long as you are willing to change your actions. If I had to choose between someone saying they are sorry or changing what they have done wrong, I would choose them changing their wrong to doing right.
My friend, this world has so messed up what true sorrow is about. God is more concerned with action than He is with your empty words. Instead of telling God you are sorry every day as you continue to do the same sin, you should change what you are doing. God is always more merciful on the one who has sorrowed to repentance than He will be with the one who only says they are sorry. True sorrow will always result in a changed life.