In life, one of the hardest, most courageous things we can do is apologize. It’s uncomfortable to admit an error, or acknowledge that something we’ve done has caused others harm or inconvenience. When we say, “I was wrong” or “I’m sorry” we put honesty and honor above self-protection and personal comfort. We willingly put ourselves at the mercy of others and surrender to an outcome we cannot control.
In the same manner when we hear someone apologize, we wonder, do they really mean it? If they are sorry, than how can I really know? Truth is we can’t know. No matter how good we think we are at sniffing out the fakes. It’s hard enough to weigh our own heart, let alone someone else’s. After all, when someone is apologizing, and we struggle to accept it, doesn’t that say more about our own heart than their own? That’s why in Proverbs 21:2 (ESV) it says; Every way of a (person) is right in (their) own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.
When we do apologize, have you noticed how easy it is to make excuses, to rationalize and give reasons so the blame can’t solely rest on our shoulders? We can always make a good case for why we are only partly at fault. There is no perfect way for anyone to clearly know how much blame rests where. Assigning blame, that’s one part I know as flawed humans, we will always get wrong.
What I do know is that one day, the only righteous judge, will know exactly what that right measure actually is. James 5:9 (ESV) says; 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers (and sisters), so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
It’s always a good time to put down our defensiveness, our excuses, and self-justification. In other words, we must never tire of, or avoid apologizing. Don’t wait for someone else to make the first move. Be the first in asking for forgiveness, admitting where you know you are wrong, take a deep breath and apologize.
Matthew 5:23-24 (ESV) says; 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
The world needs followers of Jesus that will be courageous apologizers. We need to be people who care more about their standing before God, than how they appear before others. It is far more important that we model this behavior, than being concerned about other people’s authenticity when they apologize. Let’s make sure that our heart is as right as it can be, so that the blessing of God can continue to flow in and through our lives.