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The sorry state of the apology: Scriptural responses to society’s shallow regret

April 14, 2013

2. Self-reflection is key. “If you suddenly remember” implies that we should set aside time once a week (prior to going to the altar) to prayerfully explore whether or not we might have hurt someone…. 

3. If you fail at No. 1, tell the truth when confronted. Paul, being Paul, doesn’t mince words to the Ephesian believers: “Stop telling lies.”…

3. Don’t procrastinate…. Paul reminds us that when we put-off dealing with conflict or relational issues, it only serves to widen the rifts. 

5. Take full responsibility. The non-apology apology we often hear reflects our natural tendency to deflect…. 

6. Words matters. Be specific…. The more specificity, the easier it will be for the offended to forgive you.

7. Tone also matters…. 

8. A face to face apology with eye contact works best. Yes, it’s humiliating but that’s part of the point. If you are logistically unable to pull this off, write a letter.

9. Don’t try to control the other’s response. Allow them to express their hurt, anger, or disappointment. Part of how we can wound others is by detaching from them…. 

10. Work for reconciliation…. After a we have wounded someone, in order for us to be truly reconciled, we must endeavor to change those behaviors and attitudes which hurt them in the first place…. 

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