We use the word love in so many ways. I love my husband. I love my children. I love my church. I love my car. I love the sunshine. I love my job. I love to eat chocolate. I love (insert favorite restaurant.) The word “love” is used so excessively, I wonder if we understand what “love” really means anymore? When I say I love my husband, it is a different love then saying, “I love to drink Dunkin Donuts coffee.” There clearly is a difference. Interesting even more, that our love can change? Today, I love Dunkin Donuts, but the next best coffee comes out and I could love it leaving Dunkin behind. Right? I love the St. Louis Cardinals because they win, but next season it could be a different team, leaving the cardinals perched in a tree. We use the word loosely and excessively and it makes me wonder if we really have a clue at all about this word.
While pondering over “love,” I began to think about other times that we use words or phrases but maybe do not carry the genuineness of what we really mean or we just say it to say it? Like……. “I’m sorry.” We know that we are suppose to say, “I’m sorry.” It is correct to do so when you have done wrong you naturally know to say, “I’m sorry,” we breed our children to respond this way. It is the next step in moving past an argument or disagreement, right? But, what is the point besides correctness if you truly do not mean it? The child who says, “I am sorry for being disrespectful,” yet, they continue for the next 14 days to be disrespectful, are they truly sorry? The husband or wife who has an affair and says to their hurt broken spouse, “I am sorry,” yet goes out and continues to look at pornography or visit another man/woman, are they truly sorry? Where has the weight of what we say, we mean gone?
“And do not say anything you do not mean.” Matthew 5:33 (The Message)
Mean what you say and say what you mean. But please do not flatter ears and tease hearts with words that only are that…. words. When we say, “I am sorry,” let it be true! Let us not give up the habit of saying, “I am sorry,” but let us do it with a sincere heart, a heart that has been transformed and desires to change so as to not have to say “I am sorry,” for the same thing yet again. I am not dismissing the fact that we are all sinners and all fall short of perfection, trust me, I am human. I am simply saying an “I’m sorry” and continuing to do wrong towards me, makes the “I’m sorry” light…not weighted. But a man or woman who comes with an “I’m sorry” that is accompanied by sincere words and actions to change, well, that my friends takes “I’m sorry” to a whole new level.
Let all we say or do be for God’s glory. Let us not give people the simplistic words that are simply a measure to get past the current issue. Let us say what we say and mean it from our core being. Do not let our apologizes just be a habit or tradition that in the end means nothing, but let our “words” be what we truly, sincerely mean and our actions show it.
“And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.” Matthew 5:33-37 (The Message)