When I was younger, my father made a point to me that in an argument, the one who says “sorry” first wins. What I won exactly, I don’t remember. He just told me I would be a winner. I remember being confused at the time, and still have trouble understanding this at times. I think he reiterated it before I got married. And it’s turned out to be very good advice, but of course, as with any proverb, the wisdom is being able to discern when a proverb is applicable or not.
But in any case, the lesson from my father drove home the sense that there was something to be won, even when saying “I’m sorry.”
As I learn to walk in the ways of God, I’m finding that my father was right especially as it comes to being a pastor. People need to hear the pastor confess. Confession needs to be modeled, not as a fake pretense, but as a real wrestling with how duplicitous we are with ourselves, particularly in light of how public the role of pastor is.
And this week, I found a wonderful example of how confession sounds from the lips of a pastor. And this guy really “wins”. Read it in full here. This is just a snippet:
I’m sorry that I expect people to think the same way I do and agree with everything I say.
I’m sorry that I want everybody to be the kind of people I like and would enjoy hanging out with.
I’m sorry that I desire others to keep the same principles that I do.
I’m sorry that I want everyone to like what I like and hate what I hate.
I’m sorry that I think I am wiser than your people.
I’m sorry that I think you’re closer to me than to others.
I’m sorry that I assume I’m really serving you while others are really not.