Over the past couple weeks we witnessed a well-known celebrity make terrible attempts to “apologise” for something she had written towards a another woman on social media. This celebrity had become comfortable over the past few decades with making degrading comments that were sexist (towards men and women), racist, anti-Jewish, anti-Islamic, and anti-Christian. She also had a habit of posting fake news about political issues she didn’t support and trash talking about Americans who were working hard to survive in a currently hostile America. No one was guaranteed to be spared from her malignant comments in the media. Eventually someone with the power to make this woman pay expensive and creative consequences for her actions did so.
I’ll refer to this celebrity as Mean Marri. When Mean Marri realized her consequences were real and costly she did what so many do when they can’t accept that they have done something truly wrong to another person. Marri gave a weak and insincere apology and when she saw that it wasn’t working she became angrier and defense. She then moved on to making up ridiculous and impossible reasons for why she had written such a mean post about another woman.
Reading over Marri’s supporters comments about the incident, I realised there are people who don’t know what is involved in an apology. I found Marri’s post to be stomach turning and her response to the backlash left myself and others further upset with her. If your apology is not sincere or you don’t believe you have something to apologise for, then please, in the name of integrity, don’t apologise. A fake meaningless apology only adds fuel to the fire and is insultive to the person(s) you are “apologising” to. It means you think the offended is foolish enough to believe you.
God has not called us to make false apologies. We are always welcomed to come before him with the truth about our wrongs, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me” (Psalm 51:3); he already knows in advance what we have done. Once we have come before God we can approach another with a sincere apology and desire to repair what has been broken. This can be done only if contact will not cause emotional or physical harm or be a threat to people’s safety.
“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” James 5:16
The beauty of the relationship between an apology and forgiveness is the emotional healing that takes place either individually or between all parities involved. God is a healer, he offers us grace and forgiveness so that we in turn can apologise to those we have hurt and those who have been hurt can forgive us.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Apologises aren’t there for the purpose of saving one’s reputation, peacemaking, keeping one’s job, avoiding a lawsuit, gaining a personal advantage, or for any selfish motives. Apologies are spiritual, and they are there to humble us, help us grow, bring about self-awareness, and draw us closer to God and people.
If you have wronged another person or have been accused of wronging someone and are having a difficult time apologising, bring the situation to God. He will reveal to you what you have done wrong and if you are open to his spiritual correction you can work towards rectifying the situation in a healthy manner.
Not everyone knows what is involved in an apology and why apologies are important in a civil society. Here are some links below to articles and videos that can help you with offering or accepting an apology (Click the titles):
How To Apologize: Asking for Forgiveness Gracefully
How To Apologize: The 7 Steps of a Sincere Apology
How To Apologize: 5 Elements of a Successful I’m Sorry