It is fair to say that if you are reading this blog post you have seen a bit of life, you have had people in time past wrong you or you have likewise offended other people. I am just saying, so that you understand the act of apology.
Some people believe that the word SORRY is the magic wand to wipe your slate clean, some use it even when they know they will repeat the particular issue they are apologizing for. Some even go as far as having a preplanned apology technique that is full proof no matter what the situation is (fear such a person).
This has made me to wonder about what the role of apology in a relationship really is. Is it a tool for a quick fix? Or could it actually be a sign of repentance? But if it is a sign of repentance how should we then judge if the apology is true, when we can’t see their hearts?
All this question drove me to think a little on the issue of how we use apologies in our everyday life. To me I believe an apology is a tool to wipe the slate, when we say we are sorry, we should really mean “I am sorry I acted in such or manner or I said hurtful things AND I WILL TRY TO MAKE SURE IT WONT HAPPEN AGAIN”. Saying sorry without adding the effort and desire not to repeat the action or words that lead to the situation in the first place is superficial and fake.
That extra length we go to make sure we don’t repeat the particular situation again that made us apologize in the first place is what I see as repentance, although the dictionary does not spell it out like that, but it came close.
Repentance is the activity of reviewing one's actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs. It generally involves a commitment to personal change and resolving to live a more responsible and humane life. – Wikipedia.
In the above definition, you can see repentance has a commitment to be a better you, which is why I said apology is not the currency of forgiveness, repentance is.
To answer the questions I asked earlier. Is apology a tool for a quick fix? The answer is YES, could it be a sign of repentance? YES, how can we judge if an apology is true? When we notice an effort from the person trying to be better and not do it again. Since we can’t see their hearts when they apologize, we wait for their actions when the same situation arises again.
So when next you say ‘I am sorry’ know that you are making this outward appeal to be given a second chance and an inward commitment to be better and not allow it to repeat itself. If you follow my blog you will see, I am an advocate of small steps in areas of self development because I know it is not easy. So making this commitment does not mean you will turn to a saint overnight, it just means I am trying to be a better version of me.
Learn to apologize and when your loved one or friend apologizes to you learn also to forgive quickly. There is a difference between saying ‘sorry’ and ‘I am sorry’; the manner and tone in which we render such apology determines how it affects and how the other person reacts to your apology . Don’t go using the word ‘sorry’ carelessly that it loses its meaning.