An apology is a beautiful thing, especially when it’s given to me. But ask me to apologize and I’m just sorry you’re such a sensitive person that what happened hurt you. And I’m sorry you think I did something wrong. My apology is all about you, not about me, because frankly, I don’t do anything wrong. If I do anything that offends, hurts or affects you badly it’s an “accident.” “I couldn’t help it.” “The road was slick,” “the deadline was too quick,” “the oven was too hot.” Most of my life I’ve never taken blame for my mistakes, but blamed the circumstances. After all, if they had been different, then I wouldn’t have made a mistake. But tell you I was wrong, or that I shouldn’t have done what I did? Confess my stupidity or miscalculation to you? Are you crazy?! I can’t bear such humiliation.
How I’ve gone most of my life never apologizing to anyone, but continually shifting blame to ‘bad conditions,’ is beyond me, but it’s true, and so I confess it now. Not so that you will forgive me, unless of course I’ve done this kind of thing to you, then I ask, “please forgive me for being so self-obsessed,” but to confess ignorance for myself and for all the others out there who don’t know how to apologize like a grown up. It’s a familial thing, runs in the blood. Adam and Eve started it when they both blamed someone else for their choices, and we all continue it on a daily basis. Which is ironic since the Christian faith rests on the power of confession, which is the best apology in the world. We are not saved till we confess our sins and our inability to save ourselves. And these sins and all the others that follow that original confession, aren’t meant to be hidden away and protected from prying eyes, but boldly brought out into the open to be examined and prayed over by others. The words that best taught me this are found in James 5:16, which goes like this, “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16, ESV)
Much of my life I have refused the personal insult of an apology, in favor of keeping up the charade of my own perfection, without really knowing the perfecting-power of confession. When I refuse to take the blame, I not only look ridiculous, but I further prepare myself for an even bigger fall. May I never forget that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18, ESV) And that “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”” (Luke 14:11, ESV)
I confess my non-apologies, may they never (rarely) happen again.