Today, genuine, heartfelt apologies are a rare commodity. Many people go to great lengths to convince the other person that they were responsible for the impatient or angry reaction that they received. In making an apology for not responding in a Christlike manner, are you a person who has to justify your actions and make excuses for yourself putting the blame right back on the other person to whom you are apologizing?
James says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” James 5:16. This does not say to blame your faults on the other person while you are confessing and you will be healed.
The devil made me do it was a popular saying used when people did something they knew was unacceptable. Many people used this saying to as an excuse for whatever they did in their life, but can we use that excuse and blame another person for our own anger? Is it their fault and are we justified blaming others for our own impatience? It comes right down to the fact that each person is responsible for his/her own sins. Whatever the circumstances, a reaction of anger and impatience is sin and we are not at liberty to blame others for our lack of control.
Those very trying circumstances that often come our way are opportunities to exercise that most precious gift—the power of choice! Instead of a negative reaction, why not call on the One who is all powerful and not willing that any would perish but overcome the devil by reflecting the character of Jesus. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict the heart of the one stirring up trouble and not ours to cast blame.
Approaching a person and saying, “I am so sorry I was impatient with you, but you …” or “I am sorry I lost my temper, but you …” is an attempt to transfer blame on someone else for my own lack of control so I will feel better. When apologizing for a wrong word or act and then qualifying it by using the word but, shows that the apology is not genuine. It is devoid of sorrow of heart and merely an attempt to cover the guilt with fig leaves, leaving no healing for either party.
A heartfelt apology is filled with the sad reality that the person has fallen short of the glory of God—fallen short of the character of Jesus in the moment of testing and trial that the Lord has allowed. Whenever I hear somebody apologizing while excusing themselves by blaming somebody else for their actions, I immediately send up a prayer for them.
The expression of regret or sorrow in an apology is like balm on an open wound that brings healing to both parties. The admission of guilt to a wounded person often results in a deeper relationship between the two, for where there had once been contention, now there is a proven trust. The next time you find yourself apologizing, remember to avoid the but word and you may be surprised to see the result of the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit by also receiving an apology in return.
Heavenly Father, put within me that heartfelt sorrow when I have misrepresented Your character. Alert me to the danger of blaming others. Take away that homemade fig leaf covering that I so often use to excuse or cover my actions and words that are not Christlike and cover me with the blood of Jesus and give me a heart of repentance. Help me to take full responsibility of my actions so that all parties will be healed. Amen.
Find peace and healing as you turn this key and enter the Storehouse.