Thursday, April 28, 2011

Apologizing Well

"Say you're sorry."

How many times did you hear that growing up? 

Fast forward to being an adult. 

How many times have you instructed your child to speak these words?

How many times have you offered or received a heart-felt apology?

And how often has someone tossed a quick "sorry" in your direction and thought it just might bring you back into a full relationship?


1.  OWN IT.  Name it.  If you've messed up, don't deny it.  Admit to yourself and God your part in the conflict/comment/deed/sin.  HINT: The sooner the better.

2.  SPEAK IT.  Put words to what you're owning up to.  Talk respectfully and clearly to the one you've offended.  No song and dance.  No smoke and mirrors.  No passing the buck.  HINT: If your apology contains the word "but," it's not an apology.  It's an excuse.  And it will only generate more hurt, frustration, and anger.

3.  EXPRESS REGRET.  Acknowledge your remorse at what you did or said.  The key is "godly sorrow," not "I'm sorry I got nailed."  HINT: To fully grasp what that looks like, take a look at Psalm 51.

4.  REQUEST FORGIVENESS.  Saying "I'm sorry" isn't enough.  Asking for the other person to forgive you allows them to complete the circle.  Extending full forgiveness may take time.  And that's ok.  HINT: This allows your relationship to be move ahead with no unfinished business.

5.  PRODUCE FRUIT.  Jesus said it best - "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance" {Matthew 3:8.}  And, "By their fruit you will recognize them" {Matthew 7:16}.  A "contrite heart" allows healthy, bountiful relational fruit to begin to germinate and grow {Psalm 51}.  HINT: Fresh ways of communicating with love and respect are likely to occur when hearts are in the right place.

Check out Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas's work, THE FIVE LANGUAGES OF APOLOGY.  And take the FREE assessment to discover what your apology language is.  I love it! 

Expressing Regret.  Accepting Responsibility.  Making Restitution.  Genuinely Repenting.  Requesting Forgiveness.

He showed us how to speak truth with love and respect.  And modeled for us what it looks like to deeply forgive ...

- pictures by Iz. & nawalieex3


  1. Thanks Linda!! I made a copy and I'm going to put it on the frig for the whole family. I also got a copy of the book "The Five Languages of Apology"

    {sent via email}

  2. CALLING ALL READERS! Honestly, this is a post that most of us need to take a look at one more time ...

    What a huge difference between a mumbled, reluctant "i'm sorry" sandwiched with "ifs" and "buts" ... and verbalizing a heartfelt, humble desire for forgiveness.


Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...