I’m pretty sure we have all done this. You may be in this situation right now. You said or did someone and you know you were wrong. You told them you’re sorry and you’re ready to move on. But you may need to go back and apologize again…
HOW did you say, “I’m sorry?”
Did they tell you, “You owe me an apology!” and you angrily and grudgingly snap back, “I’m sorry!”
Did you tell them you were sorry just to shut them up from nagging you… wanting them to drop it?
Did you tell them you were sorry only to demand of them to get over it and move on?
Did you tell them you were sorry because you know God expects it, but you really didn’t mean it?
Did you tell them you were sorry because you just didn’t want them to be upset?
Did you tell them you were sorry because you didn’t want them to treat you differently?
Did you tell them with a sticky note, text or email?
Did you tell someone else to tell them for you?
Did you tell them you were sorry because you had true remorse, regret, contrition, shame and sorrow for hurting them?
There’s a difference between saying, “I’m sorry”, and a true apology.
Notice that even God doesn’t necessarily ask us to tell Him we are sorry, but He does require Godly sorrow and repentance…
2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)
10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
A true apology comes from the heart and not just from the mouth.
When we are truly sorry, we want the person to feel that it hurt us that we hurt them. And, when we are truly sorry our continued behavior reflects that apology, even if they have a human moment in bringing that hurt back up again.
Think about it. Do you need to apologize to someone again? Yes, you said you were sorry, but maybe, just maybe, you didn’t really ‘apologize’.
And, when you are on the receiving end of an apology, please BE EASY TO APOLOGIZE TO… because sometimes accepting a harsh, so-called, insincere apology with grace and humility can soften their heart. That’s the power of God’s love. Think about the times you’ve had to apologize remembering…
It takes just as much humility and love to extend a sincere apology as it does to accept it.