The Discipline Of Apologizing
I preached last night on the subject, The Discipline Of Apologizing, or How To Apologize.
You can hear the complete sermon at http://www.lhmcallen.org/Mp3s.htm
(scroll to bottom and find July 29 pm).
This topic is of broad interests and application because you cannot go through life without needing to do this, many times!
First, I gathered up all the passages that point to attitude, method, sincerity, etc. and we based our study on the model of confessing sin to God. We observed the urgency of this in Matt. 5:20-25, briefly visited some passages in Proverbs. Then made these points:
1. Don't use the word "if." An apology is a statement that expresses regret over a thought, action, non-action (neglect) or word. The word "if" clouds the purpose and may leave the offended party wanting, and the offender unforgiven.
2. Don't load your "apology" with excuses. One of the quickest ways to ruin a perfectly good apology is, to attach an excuse to the end. Take the blame. Excuses sound like we are trying to avoid responsibility.
3. Don't apologize when you are not guilty. If we throw around apologies all the time, when there is no guilt - when there is guilt, that apology will not have the power it needs to have. Don't give apologies out like candy.
4. Always clear the matter up with God. Even when we have cleared up things with men - our sin may not be a closed case, if we neglect to confess to God and ask His forgiveness.
Finally, there is software you can purchase to write apologies. You type in the names, dates, circumstances, offense, etc., and the program produces an apology letter template to be mailed or e-mailed.
Before you buy that software, let me tell you - As disciples of Christ, our hearts should be programmed for apologies!
[ Preachers - if you want this outline, send me an email request to: email@example.com ]
By Warren E. Berkley
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From Expository Files 14.9; September 2007