Words have immeasurable power. Yehuda Berg is quoted as saying, “Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble.” The Bible says that “death and life are in the power of tongue.” Our words have the ability build up and also to tear down, to divide and to heal. Some words are more powerful than others. There are eleven words in particular that have the ability mend a relationship strained by our own mistakes. Those eleven words are…
I was wrong. Please forgive me. I’m sorry. I love you.
I was wrong. Many people today have a hard time ever admitting they were wrong. Sometimes they may have a blind spot to their faults, others walk through their whole life with a victim mentality believing every wrong they’ve ever experienced has been due to someone else, but when we are able to admit we’ve messed up it begins the mending process in a fractured relationship.
Please forgive me. It is not enough to simply note that we’ve done something wrong though, we also have to ask for forgiveness. When we ask for forgiveness we are saying we understand that our mistake had consequences beyond ourselves and affected other people as well. It is a recognition that we hurt others and need them to be a part of the process of making this situation right again.
I’m sorry. Saying one is sorry goes beyond saying we were wrong and asking forgiveness for the damage done, it is saying we are repentant and that we will not do it again. Saying we are sorry shows remorse. Most people are forgiving people, but after a while even the most forgiving person has a hard time forgiving someone over and over again for the exact same mistake. Eventually, for the relationship to be right someone has to say “I’m sorry and I will not do this again.”
I love you. Saying I love you takes things even further. It is saying not only have a messed up, caused damaged, and do not want to repeat the same mistake again, but also lets the person know that you value them and the relationship. Saying I love you says that we want to move past the mistake and want to move forward again.
I was wrong. Please forgive me. I’m sorry. I love you. Eleven short, but very powerful words. When was the last time you said these eleven words? Perhaps there is there someone in your life right now that you need to go and say them to.