What is it with this phrase?

Why don’t people like to say “I’m Sorry”?

Let’s begin our chat, by defining – Sorry:

Sorry – 1. Grieved for the loss of some good; pained for some evil that has happened to one’s self or friends or country. It does not ordinarily imply severe grief, but rather slight or transient regret. It may be however, and often is used to express deep grief. We are sorry to lose the company of those we love; we are sorry to lose friends or property; we are sorry for the misfortunes of our friends or of out country. And the king was sorry. Matt 14. (Webster’s 1828 )

I heard a story recently in which a parent, entrusted her children to another parent.  The parent providing the child care, allowed her children, and those of her friend to play outside.  Reasonable.

But one of the Caregivers children, made a grave error in judgement, and one of the children in her care got hurt.  The injuries turned out to be superficial, but truly the result could have been as serious as paralysis or death. 

The Caregiver, refused to apologize to the parent of the injured child.  On the grounds that there was no real biblical offense. 


I was so shocked by this it caused me to seek out some answers from the Lord about taking responsibility, asking for forgiveness, saying I’m Sorry.

First and simplest, any time a child gets hurt at my home or in my care I am Sorry! 

Second, saying I’m Sorry is not always taking responsibility.  Certainly, in the example I gave here, the Caregiver is responsible, and should be sorry and ask forgiveness.

But it is possible to be Sorry and not be at fault. 

I’m sorry people die of cancer, but I am not responsible for cancer.

Which brings me to my third and probably most important observation:

Is there ever a time, when someone is hurt or offended that we should refrain from being sorry?

I wil try to clarify my thinking:

When someone is injured – I am sorry they are hurt.

I don’t have to evaluate who’s at fault to know that I am sorry they are in pain.

When someone is offended by me, I am sorry. 

It is not my desire to be offensive.  But that does not always mean my behavior or opinion or action is wrong.

So if someone were to come to me, and say ” I am offended”

I could automatically respond, “I’m sorry your offended”

It isn’t my job to evaluate whether or not they should be offended, they are already telling me they are offended.  It is now my job to ask the Lord to examine my heart, and show me if I have sinned. 

Once I go before the Lord, I may need to go beyond “I’m sorry” and take responsibility and ask for forgiveness.

My conclusion is that it is always okay to be ‘sorry’ when someone is hurt or offended. 

That is if it is not your desire for people to be in pain physically, emotionally or psychologically.