About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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Am I Sorry?


In the rush to push his way to the front of the room, Sam knocks the cell phone out of a colleague's hand.  Without stopping he says a quick "sorry" and continues pushing his way to the front row. The colleague asks, "you're really sorry"? 


Cameras flash.  New fangled mp3 recorders are set to record.  The president enters the press room of the White House followed by two attorneys.  He steps to the podium. "Good morning.  I'll answer your questions as honestly as I can, so let's get started".


Hands rise.  Voices shout over top of each other. "Mr. president, Mr. president…"


"Mr. president, Jackie - CNN news.  How damaging will this be to your administration"?


"I'll survive Jackie.  You can count on that".


Mr. president, Jim - NBC news. Will you fire the secretary of state"?


"Can't comment on the secretary of state Jim".


"Mr. president,  Sam – ABC news.  When were you aware of the situation? 


"Let's just say I've been aware of it for a while now Sam.  Next question".


"Follow-up question sir.  Will the secretary of state take the fall for you"?


"Enough of that Sam.  I'm not commenting on the secretary of state.  Next question".


Sam attempts another follow-up.   


"That's it for you Sam.  How about Lorry".


"Thank you sir.  Lorry - InTheNews.com.  I have two sources saying you were involved.  Were you sir?"


The attorney to the left of the president approaches the podium, leans over and whispers into the president's ear.


"That's all folks", says the president as he abruptly leaves  


Questions fly from all directions.  "What did you know?  Were you involved?  Who's responsible?  Who'll be the fall guy"?     


Sam shakes his head in amazement.  "Why am I so surprised?  I've gone through this nonsense before ".


Sam heads back to his hotel room after spending an  hour with some friends at a bar two blocks from the White House.  He places his Blackberry on the nightstand and notices an open Gideon Bible.  The first words he reads are, "the heavens will expose his guilt"' (Job 20:27)  "Interesting", Sam thinks.  "Someone better expose the president's guilt".    


In his early days as a reporter for ABC, Sam asked President Nixon all the why, when, and where's, and got the same old non-answers in return.  The same with Clinton and all the others on Capital Hill. "No one admits guilt till he's trapped in a corner and has no way to escape", thinks Sam.  "It's human nature.  We blame everyone but ourselves.  It's called self preservation.  Adam blamed Eve.  Eve blamed the snake.  The snake probably blamed God for creating him with the potential to deceive.  In the end, it's all God's fault". 


The reference to Adam, Eve, and God, doesn't mean Sam knows a lot about Biblical issues, because like most media types, he knows nothing about the Bible.  Sam flops down on the bed, kicks off his shoes, and picks up the remote.  The TV lightens up to a Christian channel.  "Some Jesus freak is messing with my head", Sam mutters.  "There's the open Bible and now this religious channel".   


"It's inevitable", says the religious guy on TV.  "People will offend one another.  That's our fallen nature.  That's what I believe Jesus was saying in Matthew 18:7 in the KJV.  So what should we do about our offenses"?  


"How about deflect them elsewhere and leave the room", Sam thinks as he adjusts his head on the pillow.


"Look at Hosea 5:15", says the religious guy on TV.  "It reads.  'I (Yahweh) will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery, they will earnestly seek me'.  Here are the facts.  Israelis offended their God.  God went back to His place until they would earnestly admit their guilt to the God they offended.  Israel's offenses damaged her  relationship with God.  Our offenses damage our relationships with those we offend, and, until we earnestly, and I do mean earnestly, admit our guilt, the relationship remains damaged.  Time doesn't heal the damage.  It only covers it with dust.  When the next wind storm hits the relationship, the dust is blown away, exposing the damage like an open sore, ready for another infectious offense". 


"Sounds logical", thinks Sam as he recalls the meaningless "sorry" he spoke to his colleague when he knocked the cell phone out of his hand.          


"The earnestly spoken, 'I admit my guilt - I am sorry', is  hard for most of us to say.  Those words don't come natural in our state of fallen selfishness", says the religious guy.  


Sam asks himself.  "How can we admit our guilt, say 'I am sorry', and really mean it"?    


As if the religious guy heard Sam's question, he says,  "the secret to honestly admitting guilt is to love the one we offend as much as we love ourselves.  Self preservation, a product of our sin, keeps us from an honest admission of guilt.  Instead of admitting guilt, we laugh it off, change the subject, deflect the criticism, or simply say a quick 'sorry' in hopes of ending the conversation".  


"Sounds like Nixon and Clinton", thinks Sam.


The religious guy continues.  "If we really love the one we offend, we'll feel bad when we realize our offense brought hurt.  We'll then let down our guard, throw off our defensiveness, and say, 'I admit my guilt – I am sorry.  Please forgive me'".    


"Forgive me?  Haven't heard those words lately", thinks Sam as he reaches for another sip of rye and coke.


The religious guy concludes.  "It's not hard to figure out.  We offend, and I'm speaking of a real offense, not a perceived offense.  Someone gets hurt.  Damage is done to the relationship.  We love the offended one and feel bad.  We then admit our guilt.  We say "I am sorry, please forgive me.  Then, and this is important, the offended one says, 'you are forgiven'.  Without the heart felt words, 'you are forgiven', there is no forgiveness.  The damage remains, and the cycle continues".    


"Wow, this religious stuff make some sense", thinks Sam. "I wonder.  If we can't honestly say 'I am sorry – I admit my guilt', can we honestly say 'I love you'"? 

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