It is never easy for any of us to say, “I’m sorry.” We don’t like to admit that we have done wrong and need to seek forgiveness. Recently Rupert Murdoch has apologised to the family of Milly Dowler for things done by a News of the World employee in the hours immediately following Milly’s disappearance. A private investigator employed by the paper hacked into Milly’s phone and even deleted some messages to make room for more recordings, giving false hope to the family that the 13 year old was still alive. Mr Murdoch has personally apologised to Milly’s family and offered to donate a very large sum of money to a charity of their choice.
There is something very powerful in a heartfelt and genuine apology. It is creative and offers the possibility of a new beginning. So why do we find it so hard to say we are sorry? One reason is our pride. We don’t like to admit our mistakes to anyone; we prefer to make excuses or to blame somebody else. In some parts of the world there are shame cultures which encourage people to go to great lengths to avoid any loss of face. So it is a significant thing when a very rich and powerful man publically says, “I’m sorry”, and shows his sorrow by his actions. Perhaps you need to put right a relationship with someone by going to them and saying, “I’m sorry.”
Jesus once met a man named Zacchaeus and went to his house for a meal. Zacchaeus was a very rich tax collector. The Jewish people hated tax collectors because they had betrayed their own people by working for the Romans, who occupied their country. Many tax collectors were dishonest and collected far more tax than the Romans required. Because of this they became social outcasts.
This encounter with Jesus brought about a great change in Zacchaeus’s life. He said to Jesus, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house.” Do you need to make peace with God by asking for his forgiveness? Why not do it today? God promises forgiveness and salvation to all who confess their sins. He promises to forgive our sins and to remember them no more.