Is “Sorry” Just a Word?

I’ve had a lot of child care jobs in my life. Perhaps not as many as others my age may have had, but I’ve had a fair bit. In that time I have pondered the significance of the word “sorry”, especially when I see a child being forced to say it for the sake of keeping the peace. I feel like this is pointless. It’s as if we are teaching our children to force themselves to emmulate remorse. To me, this sounds like ingenuine repentance. It says in 2 Corinthians 7:10 that “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

I was taught as a child to say sorry when I hurt someone, and to say “I accept your apology” when someone says sorry to me. I wonder though if our attitude as a church might change if we start thinking in terms of repentance and forgiveness instead of just keeping the peace and acting civil. After all, it says in Romans 12:9 that “Love must be sincere.” Trying to act civil doesn’t seem like sincere love to me.

I suppose repentance is putting remorse into action. Saying sorry seems like a step below repentance. Like we stop short of actually changing our behaviour. Not everyone is like this, but I think most people are when it comes to certain behaviours. Those little habits that just don’t seem to change no matter how many times we are told it’s hurtful, or no matter how hard we try. Of course, that’s where grace comes in.

Anywho… Thoughts? Comments?