Saying Sorry Leads to Joy
We can all relate to the truth that it's hard to apologize. It's hard to confess. I know it's hard for me to go to my spouse or to my friends or to my church or to my children and say, You know what? I messed up and I'm sorry.
But we also all know how good it feels after that happens. Confession leads to joy.
Confession is like the gateway to freedom. As we confess, repent, and own the wrong things that we have done that burden us, that weight is lifted off of us and it allows us to move forward with a lightness of heart and a freedom as we say, I'm sorry.
That's true in every relationship and it's true in the relationship that we have with God.
Pride Is Unwillingness
So as we walk about our lives as prideful, un-confessing, unrepentant people, we bring upon ourselves a heavier weight every day and hour. With every sin, we are crushed under a weight that we must carry around with us.
Pride is really just the unwillingness to apologize. It's the unwillingness to admit that you don't have it altogether. It's the unwillingness to say, I need help. I screwed up. I'm tired. I'm making tons of mistakes. I'm totally self-absorbed. I want to be self-sufficient. Though Jesus is all-sufficient, I'd rather rely on myself.
Pride is the enemy of hope because hope lies with Christ. Hope lies with our Creator—the God of the universe who made us and knows how we're wired. He knows what's in us and he's willing to sustain us.
Pride is the enemy of hope.
He left heaven to come to Earth to walk this life—to live the life we couldn't live, die the death we could not die, and pay the price we could not pay.
Release the Burden of Pride
So as I release myself from pride I’m able to say, I can't do more. I can't try harder. I can't be perfect.
I actually screw up all the time and need to say I'm sorry to the people in my life and to the God who made me. With that, I am free from having to be self-made. I am free from having to carry it all as a finite human being.
Pride is the enemy of hope. The more prideful, self-reliant, and self-made that I am, the further I am from having an open relationship with the Lord who's willing to bear my burdens, who wants me to cast all of my cares on him, who is there for me.
So confession is the first step. Apologizing is the first step in realizing we are sinful and we need the Lord's freely offered unconditional love and forgiveness. That's where freedom and hope come from, and where true life really happens.
Jen Oshman is the author of Enough about Me: Finding Lasting Joy in the Age of Self.
Many of us believe that Christian discipleship is synonymous with self-improvement. But true Christian discipleship is a call to die, not to improve.
What does it look like to pursue real fulfillment in God, rather than in ourselves? And what's wrong with the self-obsessed, individualistic culture that dominates our world today?
People threw off the shackles of the church and the state and they began to look inward. They began to look to themselves for what is true and what is real.
For Calvin, self-denial was not a special requirement for the few but a norm for all believers, and we deny self because we have been united with God, not because we want to achieve such a union.