The Hardest Words to Say

The Hardest Words to Say

The “Does God Exist?” ministry is about life. We maintain that a successful life full of meaning and value is a life lived according to what God has told us in His Word. Our secular world tries to tell us that believing in God and following the Bible and its teaching are foolish and irrelevant to life. However, the evidence doesn’t support that view. Avoiding the things that bring heartache, misery, alienation, and frustration is often a matter of speaking a few of the hardest words to say.

One of the things that we fail to say is the simple phrase “I love you.” The Bible tells us that God is love, and 1 Corinthians 13 devotes a whole chapter to emphasizing the importance of love. It is difficult for us to express love because it puts us at risk. The biblical concept of love uses the word “agape,” a self-sacrificing kind of love. Being able to say “I love you” is essential for family relationships. Saying it to a child when there is a conflict or to a spouse when there is disagreement is vital to a rich relationship. Saying “I love you” with agape sincerity shows that we value the person and is fundamental to building and enriching relationships.

Another phrase that is hard for us to say is, “I have sinned.” No one likes to admit they were wrong. We want to blame others when we make a mistake. This started with Adam saying, “the woman you gave me, she gave it to me” (Genesis 3:12). Eve carried it on with “the snake deceived me” (Genesis 3:13). We also try to distance ourselves from the situation, as Cain did with “am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9). Admitting sin is difficult because it means we are imperfect and needy, shattering our claim of independence.

The Christian system advocates admitting our mistakes. James 5:16 tells us to “Confess your faults to one another.” A marriage in which one partner can never admit they made a mistake is a marriage that misses the joy and love God intends for it to have. When was the last time you admitted to your mate or your children that you have made a mistake or told them “I love you”? God expects us to be humble enough to speak words that enrich our relationships, even though they may be the hardest words to say.

— John N. Clayton © 2022