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The humility of an apology, whether you did wrong or not

Jul 14, 2010 By Abraham



  1. Adam says:

    That rings true. But it also seems to me that nonetheless the person being apologised to certainly thinks it means the she is right and the apologiser wrong. An unavoidable asymmetry, then, between the mindset of an apologiser and that of the apologisee?

    As an apologiser, that asymmetry is deflating.

  2. Mary Beth says:

    I find that I rarely need to apologize for disagreeing with someone, regardless of my rightness or wrongness, but usually because of how I went about telling them I disagreed.

    Usually the righter I am, the more I need to apologize. :)

  3. Nathan says:

    Thanks for this, Abraham! I really like this word; though I might attach a different framework (only because it doesn’t show much integrity to apologize vainly or dishonestly): “The humility of an apology, even when the other person thinks they did nothing wrong.” Now that sacrifices the ego. Apologizing and being humble even when the other person is not.

  4. Audri says:

    To apologize technically only means to express regret…to say you feel bad about something…which doesn’t necessarily have any connection with doing something wrong. It’s more something you’d say for an accident. So we can apologize more easily, and it doesn’t require much humility.
    I think we’ve slipped into apologizing and saying sorry in too many instances when we ought to be repenting and asking for forgiveness.
    Tell any child to “say your sorry” and they’ll easily whip out an insincere and meaningless “I’m sorry”. But require of them to humbly say, “I was wrong to (and specify the sin). Will you please forgive me?” and there will be a fierce battle inside, waged by the pride of their human heart.
    This takes more work, and may require waiting while the battle rages, but it’s worth it (whether we’re parenting or living our lives). Only then do we move beyond trite sentiments and find victory over the stranglehold of pride and reconciliation with man and God.

    1. Kenneth says:

      I think apology actually means to give a defense. I think we too often (but i don’t think its a huge deal) mistake Sorrow with Apology. When we express regret we are actually “sorry”, usually that is followed by an “apology”…i.e. “I’m sorry i was late, I didn’t wake up in time.”

      This confusion has lead to us having to say, “No, Christian apologetics is not the art of say your sorry for Christianity.”

      I’m not trying to be a jerk, just writing what I’m thinking. I understand the message of the post and was glad to read it.

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