Sunday, August 07, 2011
A Word or Two About Apologies
1. On the heels of an apology one may not make an excuse.
2. On the heels of an apology one may not seek an apology. It may be sought later, but not immediately after acknowledging one's own guilt for if one is truly sorry, he will be focused on the hurt he or she has caused. Delay also allows time for the first person's humbled state to lead the other person to the same state of contrition. Also, requesting the apology on the heels of asking forgiveness can be occasion for hardening the other person who has not yet owned his or her need to apologize and has not yet internalized the apology that was just given only moments ago.
3. Household members should strive to appreciate that to reject an apology is serious business, for all our apologies to the Lord are meager given who He is, and we are to be mindful that in the Lord's Prayer we are asking to be forgiven in the manner in which we forgive. Accordingly, it should be with fear and trembling that one rejects an apology.
4. There may be no if-then apologies: "If I sinned, then I'm sorry." Such an apology actually implies that one doesn't believe he sinned, and that he or she is not sorry. For had the person thought he sinned, then the apology wouldn't be conditional. And given that the "if-then" in this case really means "if and only if I sinned, then I'm sorry,” then it stands to reason that the person is not sorry at all.