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Thursday, April 30, 2009

When "Sorry" Isn't Good Enough

Do you ever feel as if saying "I'm sorry" to someone is not enough?
Perhaps, the mere act of saying "I'm sorry" to someone can be commonplace and meaningless without further commitment. Saying "I'm sorry" when we are truly apologetic for our actions is a start, but after we say those words, the choices we make and actions we take could be the most important proof of our sincere sorrow.
We should feel distressed and concerned if we have hurt someone; these are definite feelings of compassion. Making mistakes is an inevitable part of life, and we should take full responsibility for our mistakes, no matter how difficult or embarrassing this may be. Hopefully, life offers ample opportunity for other chances to do the correct thing. An apology often becomes a necessary part of preserving a relationship.
Sometimes saying "sorry" is just not good enough to repair the damage done by a blunder. We must do more in repentance to begin the healing process. Repentance begins with an admission of a promise or resolve not to repeat the offense and an attempt to make restitution for the wrong, or in some way to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where possible.
Repentance, in a practical sense, means "to change." It entails that we do something different with our future after we commit an offense. To remain unchanged would indicate our insincerity in the matter.
The repentant person not only has profound regret for his past but also has the fulfilled hope in the potential of God’s grace to continually bear the fruit of healing and true reconciliation in himself. The Bible states that repentance brings pardon and forgiveness of sin. (Isaiah 55:7)
In the Hebrew Bible, the Prophets insisted that true repentance calls for a complete change of our mental and spiritual attitude as part of the act of restitution. We actually change our hearts and minds about a previous stance as part of restitution for a wrongdoing.
Lastly, we must seek atonement. In Christian theology the atonement refers to the forgiving or pardoning of sin through the death of Jesus Christ by Crucifixion which made possible the reconciliation between God and creation. Christ, in his mercy, forgives us for the darkest of sins.

Thanks to an article on perfectapology.com, we may see added insight into the actual act of making a sincere, meaningful apology. The article suggests a correct apology should address the following details:

1. A detailed account of the situation, 2. Acknowledgement of the hurt or damage done, 3. Taking responsibility for the situation, 4. Recognition of your role in the event, 5. A statement of regret, 6. Asking for forgiveness, 7. A promise that it won't happen again, 8. A form of restitution whenever possible.

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