I’m Sorry + I Forgive You should = Peace but does it?


No sweat…just send me your best cash love offering and we’ll call it all good. – the dude I insulted last weekend after I apologized. (see Medusa Face)

I think his response is hilarious – and frankly God’s way of telling me to lighten up just a scoshe and breathe. It took about 48 hours for him to see my apology and respond to it. The dude is not on twitter that much. I died a million deaths in those 48 hours let me tell you.

Honestly, I stink at receiving forgiveness. If I were to walk this out, I’d take him at his word and then avoid him for the rest of my life. Which is self-defeating really, but again. it’s how I roll sometimes even with God. I have a lot to learn. If you want to know more about that see Can You Give Me Three Days?

I’m not different from any of you. We all need forgiveness even if we aren’t willing to admit it. I have this hole inside of me sometimes that craves to be filled and rather than receive the right things, like forgiveness, I’ll fill it with fear and overachieving perfectionism and call it good even if it isn’t.

My abandonment issues can be so bad that I catch myself jumping up and down causing great internal injuries just to prove I’m loveable. It’s annoying at times I’m sure. Failure and Forgiveness are not part of my family tree. Not only do we never admit fault when we can blame someone else, we never forgive others even if they do try to make amends. Forgiveness has always been that carrot we hold out to each other while we make the other person jump through hoops to “earn it.” not that they ever do of course.

It took me years to unlearn those teachings.

While I’ve learned the difference between I’m sorry and I was wrong and how to forgive others who are asking for forgiveness, I’ve yet to fully learn how to receive forgiveness in the right spirit. I don’t trust it really. I’d much rather buy my way out of a bad deal than receive grace any day. Which is why I thought his response is so funny.

I noticed a lot of you (over 1,000) found my blog this last week looking for how to say I’m Sorry and Letting Go. No one came to my blog this week looking for forgiveness per se, but that’s really what they were looking for when they searched “I’m sorry.”

Something interesting happened this week. My elder pulled me aside after our Sunday School class and asked if I’d teach on Luke 21. The whole chapter. We are on 19 right now and I’d have roughly two weeks to prepare. I immediately said yes, and then excused myself to throw up.

Yep, that’s how I roll. I say yes to God and spend as much time praying to the porcelain god as I do the real one. Hope that doesn’t offend, I’m just trying to keep it real.

I’ve taught before. I’ve spoken a lot of places, acted in some movies and have done stand up and yet again I’m giving  God my list of “why I can nots” and He tells me “Just read it will ya?” The very first paragraph caught me right between the eyes.

The Widow’s Offering

 1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

All of my reasons of why I can’t, courtesy of the evil committee that lives rent free in my head.

1. I’m not good enough – did you not see what I did to that man? A stranger yet!

2. He hasn’t even forgiven me.

3. What if I’m not forgivable?

4. Why are you wasting your time on me?

5. I’m a neurotic mess, isn’t there someone more qualified?

The God I worship for whatever reason doesn’t seem to want someone who can give out of the wealth of their gifts. He sees my two copper coins for what they are – and calls it beautiful. My poverty: My sinful nature,  my pride, my fears, my needs for forgiveness even when I don’t know how to receive it yet, my ego, my low self esteem, my neurosis and bad attitude, my warped sense of humor and my willingness to be humble – all of it matters to him.

 I have no confidence (as the world would define confidence) in my own gifts and / or abilities, but I am in confident in this – “Being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1: 6 (NIV) –

And I have confidence in knowing that He will indeed bring people into my life who continue to model true forgiveness and that I will eventually find peace that lasts .

Now, if you think that God would just leave me here – you would be wrong. Click on the photo below to hear His answer to my doubts. Thanks!

7 thoughts on “I’m Sorry + I Forgive You should = Peace but does it?

  1. Cool. I also love iPhones and iPads. I just bought the book by Townsend. Read chapter One. LOVE IT!!! Though I have a radar for “Bad People” I am still very much drawn to them. It is an undeniable force that thankfully I have been able to overcome with the smart side of my brain. My wife is a perfect partner for me and I have very good friends. What I need to pay closer attention to is the people I meet daily that are not bad people…but are not good people for me. I waste too much time with this. Even funnier is that I can see it happening WHEN it is happening…and yet cant pull myself out of it! UGH…the nature of man. I highly suggest you find “Prisoner of Hate” by Aron Beck…wonderful book about the worlds we create in our heads that lead us to negative emotions.

    Thanks again for your response…and suggested reading.

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  2. Hi Deana. I am hoping the email you sent to me regarding SPAM was a mistake. It seems based on your reply comment that you understand that I am not interested in SPAM comments. I am the CEO of a company…my company website is legit and is the only website I have. I put in in the placeholder for a website because it is my website. The comment I posted here has nothing to do with my business. I was sincerely looking for ideas and thoughts on redemption and forgiveness. Does that make sense? If I was mistaken to put my website in the box I hope you can forgive me…LOL!!!

    Note…I love your response above. Thanks!!!

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    1. I figured that out — I am sorry. I get a lot of creative comments at times that aren’t really comments just teasers to draw hits to their pages. My gut told me this was real and I deleted my first comment.
      I’m glad you found my second reply a bit more helpful. 😉 If you want to talk more privately I have an email addy at the end of my about me page.

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  3. Vin, thank you for commenting. There are so many things running through my head right now. – I am sorry those things happened to you. I’ve been there. see http://deanaohara.com/2011/07/31/oh-i-forgive-you-but-im-still-going-to-make-you-pay/ for insight. I hope that page helps. Also, from there you can link to Can You Give Me Three Days?

    I know it’s hard to believe we are forgivable when we have people in our lives who don’t forgive. I’ve found that people like that harbor secrets and believe that they themselves are unforgivable. Their withholding has nothing to do with us. It’s painful yes. Keep surrounding yourself with people who do forgive. Another book that was helpful to me over the years is Safe People by Townsend. I have a bad radar when it comes to safe people. He explains how to find them, and why they are important. I learned a lot from it.

    Thank you for commenting. Looking forward to speaking with you more.

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  4. I found your blog after searching “if I am sorry should i be redeemed”. I struggle with NOT being forgiven after taking full responsibility for a wrong doing. I am and have always been a person that says “I am sorry”. In many cases I have not been forgiven. The description of feeling like there is a an empty hole that needs to be filled is 100% accurate. The need to be forgiven is strong…very powerful…a force that leads you to chase down the forgiveness. This chasing down is unheatly and leads to an even worse feeling of worthlessness. What bothers me more than anything is that the unforgiving people that I have experienced are typical devoted christians (catholics mostly). Note, I love Jesus for Jesus sake…I am not religious but do read a lot as it pertains to religious philosophy. What strikes me most is how forgiving Jesus was while he was being tortured!!! Forgiveness seems to be the cornerstone of being a practicing Christian. My experience tells me otherwise. In a recent situation, I acted poorly and I apologized PROFUSELY for my selfish behavior. I took 100% of the responsibility of the interaction. I was indeed selfish and imature. I added stress to a life that had no room for stress. Sadly…I am NOT forgiven. I am certain there are other factors in play here. I can also say that I am certain I left a very bad taste regarding my character. However, I have taken 100% responsibiltiy for it…even indicated that the negative interaction forced me to acknowledge ugly things about myself. I cannot fully understand that lack of redemption. I wish i could move past it. I am certain that time will allow me to do so. In the short term I am left with the hole. My fear, and something that I try to avoid, is that I will become bitter and untrusting of people. I want to avoid this as I believe that there are forgiving people out there. I am married to one and I am surrounded by good friends and business partners that are forgiving. I wish I could focus more on them…and less on those that leave me wanting. At any rate, forgiving those that do not apologize is challenging but doable. Forgiving those that apologize for their wrong doing should be a piece of cake..and a no brainer. Really???? I wish.

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  5. Accepting forgiveness, like faith, takes years of “pratice”. We are filled with “there isn’t any free lunch” out there, that we forget that we are “in the world but not of it”.
    We just have to accept the forgiveness on faith that the offense is done, forgiven and over with…period. And when our human nature tries to tell us it isn’t, we have to remind ourselves that this deception comes from the father of lies.

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    1. Absolutely that’s exactly where those lies come from. Every aspect of our daily walk takes practice. I know people well into their retirement years who are bitter, angry,and isolated and able to repeat every offense ever committed against them. Real or imagined. That is no way to live.

      So many people found my blog this week searching on how to say I’m sorry. Forgiveness is such a basic human need.

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