The Astros broke my heart. The 2017 season was special. The World Series was epic. The unmitigated joy with which the young Astros played was contagious.
It was fun being an Astros fan.
Then came the reports of sign-stealing, the public reaction and the fallout. The worse part for me came when owner Jim Crane went on national TV to apologize.
Only he didn’t.
He claimed the cheating had no effect on the games. He showed no remorse. He never actually said he was sorry.
As sinful human beings, we struggle to say we’re sorry. In our pride and stubbornness, we don’t want to admit our failings or at least take all of the blame.
We say things like, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” “I apologize. I didn’t know you were so sensitive.” “I’m sorry you took it the wrong way.”
That’s not being sorry. Those are non-apology apologies.
Or we say we’re sorry, but add a “but.” “I’m sorry I said what I said, but you said some things you shouldn’t have too.” “I’m sorry I cheated on the test, but I didn’t have time to study.” “I’m sorry I drank too much, but I’ve been under a lot of stress lately.”
All of those “buts” may be true, but they don’t justify what you’ve done. We like to make excuses. We love to blame others. But, in the end, if you have the choice between doing what is right and doing what is wrong and you choose to do what is wrong, there is only one person to blame.
We always have a choice. So when you mess up, don’t make excuses. Don’t blame others. Say you’re sorry – no buts, no excuses. You did it. Admit it.
This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. During Lent, we follow Jesus on his road to the cross. We watch as he sacrifices everything – as he suffers our punishment in our place.
Traditionally, on Ash Wednesday we begin our Lenten journey by admitting it’s our fault he had to die. It’s my sins which nailed him to that wood. I did it.
But we also remember that he went willingly. Jesus went to that cross because he loves you so much. And because he did, God fully and freely forgives you forever. You can ask God for forgiveness, with the confidence that he will always forgive you.
So go to church this Wednesday. Go to God and tell him you’re sorry – no buts, no excuses, no non-apology apologies. Admit what you’ve done with the confidence that he has and will always forgive you because of Jesus.