Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"Don't Apologize" is Good Advice


I ate a piece of Dove chocolate the other day (who doesn't need one of those occasionally!), and the advice inside the wrapper said, "Don't apologize."  I immediately thought that was horrible advice; do we really want to go through life not caring about how we treat others?

Then I thought about it a little more, and realized that it's actually pretty good advice.  Let me give you a purely hypothetical situation.  Let's say that I say something hurtful to John.  Later, I feel guilty, so I apologize.  "I'm sorry."  What exactly am I sorry for?

Am I sorry that I feel bad for hurting his feelings?  Then my apology only makes me feel better.

Am I sorry that I hurt his feelings?  Bah!  Apologizing because you hurt someone's feelings is worthless.

Or am I sorry that I got caught?  My negative thoughts spilled over into words which revealed the evil intent of my heart.

None of these get to the root of the problem, do they?

What does the Bible have to say about apologies?  Absolutely nothing.  But the Bible has much  to say about repentance and forgiveness.

Continuing the purely hypothetical scenario, I go to John and repent and ask for forgiveness.  How does that look?  I say, "I'm sorry that I said hurtful things to you; it was wrong (a sin).  Will you forgive me?"  I'm not perfect, so I'm sure that I will say ugly things to him again, but my repentance means that I know I was wrong and that I will try not to do it again.

And his forgiveness means that neither one of us will bring this situation up again to each other, another person, or to God.

How different is forgiveness than an apology!  I have to agree with Dove:  Don't apologize!

What do you think?

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