When ‘I’m Sorry’ Isn’t Enough


The customer service representative was pleasant enough. She repeatedly said, “I’m sorry, but…”

I was frustrated after spending a total of two hours on the phone and on chat. I did not feel like I was being heard. I knew I was in the right, and good customer service dictated that I receive what I’d been promised.

In the 1960s, the movie Love Story popularized the line, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” In reality, merely saying the words is rarely enough.

Words without action ring hollow. I would have been convinced if the customer service rep had said, “I’m sorry. I’ll take care of that for you.” But her atttude was there was nothing she could do to help me.

When I fail to do something my hubby asked me to do, my apology carries little weight unless I actually follow it up by making it right.

Little children learn early they can soften their punishment for misbehavior by saying, “I’m sorry.” But their sorrow is sometimes short-lived, and the behavior is soon repeated.

Society today is full of examples of people who acted inappropriately. They may express their regrets, but often it seems they regret getting caught more than they regret their actions. True repentance is demonstrated by a change of behavior–making a complete turnabout.

The Bible promises, “If a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and … does what is just and right, he shall surely live” (Ezekiel 18:21, ESV).

Eventually, the customer service rep connected me to a supervisor who assured me I would be getting the promotional item I was expecting. His apology for my trouble was backed up by action.

I’m guilty of offering an “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me” without actually intending to change my behavior. But I’m trying to do better. Because actions always speak louder than words.