About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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  1. Thank you for this! In my Previous marriage all I did was apologize constantly it was how I began or ebeddd a sentence. God shut that door for me and opened another and now the only time I find myself apologizing is if I accidentally step on my dogs foot or something like that. Not apologizing all the time helped me to be me and realize that I’m not sorry for who I am at all ! I rejoice for the person God has allowed me to be by opening that second door!

    • Thank you for sharing part of your story with us, Cristin. I’m so glad to hear you’re rejoicing in the person God created you to be now!

  2. I do like what has been said in this message because I am a person who has always been saying sorry. For what? I don’t know? When half the time it was like I didn’t really mean it. But to my ex he would always say you’re always saying sorry but I didn’t feel like I needed to say it. I am a very nice person and he knows that but what he didn’t like is that I always said sorry and for what. This message made me realize that I shouldn’t be apologizing for the way God made me. I shouldn’t be ashamed because God loves me for the way I am or I wouldn’t be here. I will not be ashamed. Because I love myself and that I’m not sorry. I can really relate to this message.

  3. I LOVE these mornings when I see your pic on the banner – you always write with the gifts of humor and truth- thanks so much!!

  4. Thank you! I needed to read this right now, today. I won’t go into it, but choosing to follow God’s calling and His ways has led to great rifts with my family of birth and with one of my children’s families. These people claim to be followers of God! You have given me the courage to say (to myself, at this point), “I will NOT apologize for following God and His calling on my life and following His ways in a very difficult circumstance that has entered my life.” I’m grateful that this circumstance has nothing to do with personal sin, but is a consequence of living in a fallen world. Thank you!

    • Cindy:

      Bless you for being transparent and I, too, have experienced some tough relational waters for following Him – even constant persecution and mocking. It is so sorrowing but God is the Source that intimately knows our suffering (having suffered every degradation out of Love “for Cindy” (hope you don’t mind I insertednyour name to encourage you and is the Source of First Aid for our souls and hearts that get hurt by the rejection. His gives strength in weakness and is our Compassionate Comforternif it is overwhelming.

      I was experiencing this and needing rest from exhaustion over the challenges in our midst that threaten to untangle us. Yesterday He whispered to my heart in the wee hours “Blessed are you when others revile and persecute you and say [or think incorrectly] all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad…” (Matthew 5: 11/12)

      My prayer for you today – in knowing that God doesn’t lie and is faithful to His Promises – since He says “blessed are you”…I pray that His grace will include an abundance of a sound mind and His clarity to not become undone emotionally, Gentle Pervasive Peace and especially, that JOY in the form of “exceeding gladness” will be present even if the difficult circumstances remain.

      All the best Cindy!
      Janine writing from Toronto, Canada

      • Janine, in your reply to Cindy’s message of I’m sorry I found great comfort and resolve. The truth of Matthew 5:11-12 spoke directly into my spirit, both heart and mind touched with soothing balm. Apologizing for being human, or imperfect is not loving yourself as we are commanded to. We are forgiven, we live in grace of His unconditional love, so why do we continue to practice the negative way of not loving ourself as he does, and fighting the emotional undonessness you mention.
        How can we live in His rest, or have His peace that way. For me, choosing to resist the unkindness behaviors, and guard my heart and mind more in His ways, is the abundant LOVE He offers. Learning and doing, is being.
        Blessings not curses anymore.

        • Lynn:

          Thanks for the UPliftment and sharing about how His Word(s) were soothing balm to you…His Holy Word is so many things in so many ways to everyone. And He helps us to grow up and in Him in all things when we suffer with Him. Can you imagine that He blesses us in lavish ways we canNOT fathom until we actually have the Supernatural experience of knowing that it can only possibly be the Spirit of God that “leads us by still waters” in our soul. He is the refreshing Redeemer and yes – definitely agree with you on the balm. Sometimes we can feel like we have an emotional sunburn from all the relational chaos and hurt we go through, but He is the Comforter First Aid that is always there with the “soothing balm” that is just right for us at the right moment. May He continue to soothe you and quiet you in His Love and really embrace you so that you can go be blessed and rejoice – even when you are persecuted, misunderstood or maligned because of your love for Him. That is what he was …because Jesus loved
          “Lynn” so much, He endured the cross, scorning the shame. And guess what? Recently, it unraveled before my eyes that there was JOY he was walking toward as He endured…it says: “who but for the JOY set before Him, endured the cross.” Now, when we suffer for His Name or purposes, He lavishes us with the JOY the Father gave Him – which was “us” who came/come to believe. So lovely to get your comment back. It joyfully lifted my spirits as I read it just now. Blessings Lynn. Abundantly “beyond what you could hope for or imagine”. Sincerely Janine

  5. Oh my goodness the times I say “I’m sorry” in a day!! And almost always for something egregious…like breathing. Thank you, thank you for this reminder and for affirming my right to “be” I will be printing this and putting it in a place where I can read it daily!

    • Counting our “sorrys” might be a good example for those of us who struggle with this. Good – and painful! 🙂 I’m so glad this was encouraging to you, Donna. Thank you for reading and sharing today!

  6. So sad that we live in a space that seems to require an apology for breathing oxygen, but I find myself there all too often, and even had a dream last night (for heaven’s sake!) about failing to meet expectations.
    I’m fighting back in song today:
    “Amazing grace now flowing down
    From hands and feet that were nailed to the tree
    As grace flows down and covers me.”

    Blessings to you, Mary.

  7. Oh my Goodness Mary…you ARE His “Goodness of the Lord in the land of the Living”!

    I am so…”NOT SORRY” for opening up this devotional to find God in the “living room of my heart” through your words.

    Our words are so very important – both the silent “mind” words and especially, the spoken. I, too, have found often, a lot and too much in the world, the tendency or habit to say or repeat vacant phrases or be “sorry for just being”

    Let us stop being sorry and be innately in tune with the Spirit that says as you so poignantly reMINDed: [They ] “are very good.”

    I like also how you correlated and shared to expose “shame” as the sheltered companion in that space where we are often and a lot “sorry” “sorry” “sorry”. … Shame gets healed and uncovered by God’s LIGHT – through His Holy Spirit – and the main thing we do with real shame from relevant sin (in thought, word or actions) is confess it to God and feel the hurried rush and warmth of forgiveness cascading into our hearts.

    We can only be healed from “real shame that we are sorry for” through Christ Jesus.

    Otherwise, Christ is the Light in our Premsence and in every Present waking moment ; His desire is that His Light shines within us and upon us and through us to make us “confident in Him” (not constantly sorry on our own)

    Thank you for connecting so honestly.

    I am so …”NOT SORRY” that I read your devotional today. That reminds me to SHINE and invite radiance by knowing and embracing that “I am very good” . What is coming to mind is a beautiful scripture on shame: “[She] who looks to Me is radiant; [her] face is never covered in shame.”

    Very grateful for your “sorry not sorry” sharing – it has put a hop and step in my path of being, doing and becoming all in Him. And hearing Him say: [she] is very good.

  8. I might add that our tendency to say “I’m sorry” often could be from our very critical society. We say “I’m sorry” because we expect criticism. Thankfully we can rest on God ‘s grace ourselves.. Move away from the sorry habit. But maybe we also need to learn to extend grace like Jesus. I know I do!

  9. I might add that our tendency to say “I’m sorry” often could be from our very critical society. We say I’m sorry because we expect criticism. Thankfully we can rest on God ‘s grace ourselves.. Move away from the sorry habit. But maybe we also need to learn to extend grace like Jesus. I know I do!

  10. I find myself apologizing constantly now basically to fit into a new environment and culture. Thanks for this message! I can “just flow” and be who l am without being sorry! The Master of the universe made me fearfully and wonderfully!

  11. Thank you very much. This is a big problem with me and I’m seeing my 23 year old daughter doing it now. The thing is, I’m not sure how it starts, but I’ve done it since a young girl. I remember after my parents’ divorce, being with my stepmom and she would get so frustrated with my brother and I because we constantly said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry…”. Maybe you are right that it is rooted in shame. And by continuing to do it we are creating more problems–not standing on God’s promises and in his forgiveness. In a sense, we are actively NOT believing what Christ has done for us.

    • It’s an easy habit to slip into, I think — and so hard to break. Like shame, I suppose. May we all break those shackles and stand firm in the grace God has given us!

  12. Are,
    Wow! You definitely “ hit the nail on the hammer “ with this !
    Is is just women are more prone to apologize, you think ? I know
    that , I too, tend to do this ! I often catch myself and rephrase, not
    sure where it started or why, but do know it became more frequent when I got sick
    and no longer could work. I, now don’t see a reason to apologize and have been better.
    But, it seems at times, it just comes out. My hubby and kiddos( young adult ) even remind me at times, why am I apologizing, and I don’t need to . This is another great reminder and so true.

    Thanks for sharing and I’ll definitely check out that App.
    Have a great day ,
    #WeareNotsorry

  13. Indeed I find myself apologizing for things quite often and even to the point of apologizing in advance to my kids for not providing them with what they will need in the future. It is insane. At the same time, I find it most difficult to say sorry to my husband for anything. Due to past history of past exes that had done me wrong and I was then always so willing to apologize for every little thing. And now I find myself so scare to redo history that I refuse to apologize to my now husband. I know I sound like a horrible person to make him suffer for all the past jerks in my life and I had been working on it, two decades to be exact to stop allowing those hurt to be carried over to him. It is the toughest thing to do, to stop my wall from still being present and break free those past hurts. So yes I am so sorry Paul for all the times I failed to apologize to you. Lord, tear down these walls that I continually put up and allow my heart to heal. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Maylee, thank you for sharing your heart and being so open with us. I pray God helps you find balance between too many and not enough apologies – and courage to be vulnerable in your marriage.

  14. Sooooooooo good!!! So true, so well said, thank you!!! Rotate this in the feed monthly!! I notice too my husband and his friends and my male boss friends NEVER start out this way. Lord, help Your girls own our right to be what You made us to be, with You!!!

  15. This is a very true statement all of my life I’ve caught saying the same, I’m sorry sometimes not sincere. We need to accept when we are truly sorry. Thank you for the message I will honestly think before I say I’m
    Blessings

  16. Wow, bless her heart, I can’t imagine an order-taker consistently beginning with “I’m sorry.” Wonder what the story behind that is? Why she started that. — Seems like most of us have spent time in the Prison of Unnecessary Apologies. I know I have before. I may set a toe inside the door at times, but for the most part, I’ve been loosed from that tendency. Although, of course, I apologize when I feel it’s courteous and appropriate. — My oldest son has been trying to break the overly apologetic habit, too. It’s an easy habit to find yourself in, isn’t it? And, it’s kind of sad, because it seems as if we don’t feel like we’re enough, or that we’re acceptable just as we are, or something. 🙁 No apologies necessary. 🙂 Grace, grace, grace. — Thanks for sharing, Mary. xoxo

  17. Mary,

    This crazy world calls for perfection. We feel that we must act, & look just right. What is right? Who’s idea are we following? Main stream media says skinny, flawless skin, etc. is best. God says be who you are. Be the woman I made you to be. After all you were made in my image to be holy & righteous in my sight. We need to quit apologizing for our faults. Don’t be ashamed of who you are or how you feel. Life gets hard & messy. Some days are good & others not so. Emily P. Freeman in her book Grace for the Good Girl-talks beautiful you God made you to be & shine your light on the world.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Great points, Beth. We might feel more tempted to over-apologize if we’re looking for our worth and identity in the world. Thank you for these reminders!

  18. Thanks for sharing this! I too am a frequent apologizer. Mostly because I despise conflict and find it easier to take blame so I don’t have to deal with people who are upset. My husband and daughter are the opposite and I envy them! I was asking my daughter if she had apologized to a friend when she was having a disagreement with her. I thought, “why do I feel she needs to apologize, it was not anyone’s fault technically. My daughter responded with “I didn’t think it warranted an apology.” Wow! I was so envious of my 13 year old! She was right, there was no need for her to apologize. Taking things personally is harmful to relationships and our own self. My goal is to be more like my spouse and daughter. I will thank people for waiting for me if I’m late and try to not feel responsible for others feelings. I will push the Catholic guilt aside I grew up with and only say I’m sorry when warranted.

    Living a perfectly imperfect life,
    Nancy

    • Oh wow, Nancy, reading your words makes me realize that’s part of why I struggle with this, too! I would rather take the blame than deal with conflict. Whew…not healthy! Thank you for helping me think through this issue even more!

  19. I LOVE THIS!!! I hear this phrase all.the.time! (Yes, I punctuated between each word to make a point..duh! Sorry…ha!) I always think, “What are you sorry for, really??”

    My daughter was getting in a habit of saying sorry and thank you….all.the.time. She overused the words so much that hearing them became annoyning to all of us in the house. We started to point out to her everytime she said it and she too realized and didn’t even realize she was saying it THAT much. Obviously, the true meaning of the words LOSE their effect when used that often…..

    She has since gotten better but I am going to have her read this post just as a reminder. 😉

  20. This is maybe the best thing I have read today! Thank you, Mary for reminding this chronic apologizer to STOP IT!! ❤️

  21. AMEN!!! I love this message! I’m tired of hearing this all the time! It’s ok if we fall short, as long as our motives are pure!

    Thank you for sharing this ❤️

    Christine

  22. Thank you sooo much, Mary! God absolutely used you in my life. This was exactly what I needed to hear, especially today. I do certainly say “I’m sorry” for things that I don’t need to apologize for. I’m sorry? 🙂 But seriously, God used you in my life at just the right time. Thank you!!

  23. I have noticed that I can be apologizing when I don’t need to be. “Quit apologizing for nothing,” my husband has been known to say. Well that made me think. Here I was trying to be polite, but I don’t need to apologize for being polite. And like I heard one lady say, apologizing puts all the focus on us and then the other person has to reassure us that we are fine. So this is one habit I am trying to stop.

  24. I love you, Mary Carver. You hit the Voxer nail on the orange button hear. Yes. Why do we do this? We as women, we as God’s daughters! Let’s save our apologies for when they are really needed, really warranted, so that they will mean something.

    This was so good. Thank you for speaking this truth. We need to hear it. xx

  25. Point taken Mary ! I will now think before I say those words.
    Perhaps it is a habit because I find myself saying it when someone walks into ME. I even apologised to the birds this morning when they saw me through the window and flew off the food I had just put down for them.
    Thank you .

  26. I am known for saying I’m sorry before I say something…this has popped up a lot this year. The subject of people saying sorry of me saying sorry which made me aware exactly how much I do/did it. I’ve tried to change the way I talk and not apologise just for being. It had become part of my go to vocabulary without me even realising it! Thanks for another reminder! I especially love how you mentioned we should stop feeling guilty for sins that we’ve already been forgiven for and let that stuff go! It’s harder than you think some things we hold on to not unintentionally. I pray the Lord will help me, us all to let Go of whatever it is and to give us the courage to be unapologetically ourselves….we are His masterpieces after all!

  27. I remember apologizing for things that I wasn’t even involved in like: “I’m sorry you had a bad day”… “I’m sorry you didn’t get the answer you were hoping for.” Goodness. Like I was responsible for everything. Not any more.