Many of you are familiar with the cartoon strip, Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin is a little boy with an overactive imagination and a stuffed tiger, Hobbes, who comes to life as his imaginary friend. In one cartoon strip, Calvin turns to his friend Hobbes and says, “I feel bad I called Susie names and hurt her feelings. I’m sorry I did that.”
Hobbes replies, “Maybe you should apologize to her.”
Calvin thinks about it for a moment and then responds, “I keep hoping there’s a less obvious solution.”
Many of us keep looking for a less obvious solution. We know we’ve done something to hurt someone around us. But we are so hesitant to say, “I’m sorry.” I’m convinced that while those two words are some of the hardest words for us to say, they are two words that have the most potential to improve our relationships.
What a difference it would make in our marriages, in our friendships, in our churches, if we weren’t so obstinate in refusing to admit that we’ve done something wrong. Our pride stands in the way, and we continue to search for a less obvious solution.
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)