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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"WELL I'M SORRY! vs..."I'm Sorry"

This was the talk of the evening.  What does it mean when you say you are sorry?  What is it to be "sorry"?
What is included in TRULY being Sorry?

We had this discussion tonight after Miss Alli's behavior exited stage left.   In trying to get her back on track, she continued to dig a deep hole of words with no meaning..... including "WELL I'M SORRY THEN! OK!"   ummm. no, not ok.

"YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME! YOU DON'T THINK I'M SORRY! as every fiber of her being is saying she isn't sorry, and there is not a reason to believe her. The VERY thing she is doing is what got her into hot water in the first place! LOL

This conversation went on for a while, and then I had enough. Time for bed. Of course there were the protests and then a few things flew off the bed.... and now into the abyss. They will not be back.
As we do not tolerate EVER throwing anything.  Anna learned this the hard way.... Apparently Miss Alli will have to learn it that way too.

So, after all was calm, and peaceful.... I asked to speak with her once again. This time we had a real conversation.  She went right back into defense mode.  I stopped her and let her know I was not going to tolerate another conversation like that.  And then I asked her.... "What does I'm sorry mean?"
She said, "It means I'm sorry!"  But what does it mean?  You know, it means I'm sorry!
Can you use another word? No
Can you describe what a sorry person means? No

So, I decided to try and explain to her what truly SORRY means.
I told her, if you are in a boat on a river and the river is about to end and there is a dangerous waterfall, the person in the boat would turn the other way and get away from the waterfall. They wouldn't say, "Yep, there's a waterfall and then just go over it!"

In the same way, if you are behaving in a certain way, and realize you are wrong and say you are sorry... you don't keep doing the same behavior!  You TURN the other way... you STOP the behavior that is wrong and behave differently.
It is called having a REPENTANT heart.  Somebody who repents of wrong, stops the direction they are going, and turns the other way.... they go from doing wrong, to doing right, just like the guy in the boat turns his boat around and goes away from danger to safety.

A person who is SORRY isn't going to say, "Well, I'm sorry then! and then have a bad attitude because they have been corrected!"  They are going to understand that they did wrong, REALIZE they are truly WRONG In their heart, feel BADLY about that wrong and tell the PERSON they wronged that they are TRULY sorry, they were wrong in what they did, how they acted or what they said, and then they will ask the other person to forgive them.  THEN... they will STOP the behavior and act in a way that is acceptable!

The reason dear I didn't believe you were sorry, was because You didn't ACT sorry. You weren't sorry.
You were angry at being corrected.  That is NOT sorry.

Now, do you understand what sorry is?  Yes.

And then we talked about how each of us fail each and every day, and only in a repentant heart can we try to do better. We cannot do it on our own. We need the Lord to help us...and He is the one we go to for strength to change our behavior.  HE changes us. We cannot change ourselves.
Alli believes this, yet falls back on old behaviors now and then.

I told her the most godly people there are, live a DAILY life of repentence before God.... we are ALL sinners in need of a Savior. Each of us....Mommy and Daddy included.

Coming to terms of the human condition, with a child who has a trauma background can be a very tricky walk.  Truth needs to be understood, yet the delivery of truth is so very important.
Getting to the truth and understanding it, is the pathway to healing.  Yes, you do things wrong, but our love for you does not change. Yes you sin, but God is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse.
These truths, when they are embraced, HEAL.....


3 comments:

Frankity said...

This came at a great time for me. Thank you for writing this. I have been having a difficult time with my own family, and a hard time putting into words what I need family members (that have wronged me) to do. If you want to check out my story, I've started blogging at:
soulsnatching.wordpress.com

Would you mind if I blogged about this?

Mike and Christie said...

Frankity,
You are welcome to. :)

Annie said...

"Sorry" is so difficult! Because we think of being "sorry" as a feeling. But when I realized that it is not a feeling but based on our THINKING it helped me to explain it better to children (and understand it better myself). There ARE times when we are mortified at our actions, embarrassed, heartsick and sorry IS a feeling, as well as a thought. But as often as not, we can only KNOW we are wrong (i.e. it is wrong to hit) whereas having done whatever it was actually FELT good!

I like your illustration with the boat and waterfall. I usually have phrased it: You are sorry when you have decided that if you had it to do over again, you'd make a different decision. But your illustration is another great way of looking at it.

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