Apology Not Accepted

by Kevin on December 28, 2013

nothing bigger than an apology

23 “If you’re gonna grab a knee and worship God and you realize that your brother or amigo is mad at ya, 24 get up and track ‘em down and get things right between ya’ll. Get things straightened out and then come back and offer your prayers.
-Matthew 5:23-24 SCV

Apologies are probably the most misused form of love there is. We can use them when we don’t mean it. We can withhold them when others need them the most. We even use them when we have done nothing wrong.

And what happens when you sincerely apologize and the other party doesn’t forgive?

In regards to this, let me say that the answer isn’t rocket science or a deep theological statement. What happens when you sincerely apologize and the other person doesn’t forgive? Here’s the answer:

It’s none of your business.

You can’t control other people or how they act. Just because you apologize doesn’t mean automatic reconciliation or renewal of trust. As Christians, we often talk about forgiveness, but do we speak enough about the other side of the coin…apology.

Apology and forgiveness should hold the same standard, but unfortunately, they don’t. When we forgive, we should truly forgive. We should not say that we forgive in one instance and then bring it up 5,000 times in the future. And just because we forgive, it doesn’t mean that everything will go back to the way it was before the offense. Forgiveness is more about the person doing the forgiving and refusing to live with a grudge or hate. Those are prisons of our own making.

So if we can agree that forgiveness should be final, shouldn’t our apologies be the same. Have we really apologized if we have to keep making the same offenses over and over?

I could go on and on, but here is the simple line on apology and forgiveness:

There is nothing bigger than a man who can truly apologize and forgive…and nothing smaller than a man who won’t.

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  • Thanks for the post, it was needed today. I apologized to a woman a few years back, admitting that she had been right and I had been wrong. Since I hardly ever saw her, I sent the apology through a mutual friend. Later I got a phone message stating that if I wanted to really apologize, I should come down to where she and some others would be doing an event on a certain day. I realized she didn’t want and apology–she wanted me to grovel. In public. I just just let it go. I had done what I could, and I wasn’t going to help her run me down any more than she already did.

  • Thanks, Kevin. We sometimes are like a dog with a bone even after accepting apologies. We like to dig it back up and worry over it…that might be true of all of the things we say we give to God.

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