Years ago, there was a famous line from the 1970 hit movie, Love Story. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” But I believe when you truly love, you should humble yourself and say you’re sorry.
I’m already thinking about attending my college reunion in the fall. It’s a big one (I’ll let you figure it out), and there are a few guys I’d like to tell “I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry for the way I behaved in college.” “I’m sorry I did not display godly attributes.” “I’m sorry that in my search for love to fill my fatherless heart, I was inappropriate.” I may not get that opportunity, because not everyone comes to the reunion, but it’s in my heart to show I’ve changed since my teen and early twenties years. I finally found true love, a love that never fails, and I want everyone from my past to know who has filled the void in my heart, my heavenly Father.
Last night, I was watching one of my favorite shows on television, Feherty. The host, golf announcer and former professional golfer, David Feherty, interviews great professional golfers and public figures about their stories. In this case, he was interviewing someone I had also interviewed while covering golf tournaments, German golfing great, Bernhard Langer.
Langer said after he won the Master’s in 1985, he couldn’t understand why he still felt empty inside. He should have been joyous. He was on top of the world. Right after Langer’s big victory, fellow golfer Bobby Clampett invited him to a Bible Study, and after a few months of attending, Bernhard Langer gave his life to Christ. He says he’s never felt empty since, and it was the best decision he ever made. I get it. His heart was full because the love of God satisfies the void that no human, nor worldly achievement can satisfy.
So what about the times when we feel we’re owed an apology and we don’t receive it? What happens when we’re offended and the person who did the offending does not choose to say “I’m sorry” and they don’t see how they could have been wrong?
We love them.
Loving someone when we feel he/she has wronged us is the most difficult thing to do, but it is what we are called to do as Christians. In Ephesians 4:1–3, the Apostle Paul said, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” 1 Corinthians 13:4 says “Love is patient; love is kind.” Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
In this case, love means even if someone doesn’t say they’re sorry, we still love them.
God’s love is unconditional. We are called to love our enemies, to love who we deem unlovable. The truth is we’ve all done some unlovable things and have disappointed our Father in Heaven. Aren’t we glad He doesn’t hold a grudge? All we have to say is “I’m sorry” and it’s wiped clean because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. He forgives us even when we’ve done what seems unforgivable.
Now that’s true love.