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Are we sincerely sorry?

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Recently a congressman was heard calling one of his female peers an ugly name. When he was criticized for it, he stood up and said he was “sorry what he said was understood that way.”

He didn’t apologize for what he actually said, something that was heard by more than one person. I think he should apologize for not apologizing.

Making apologies seems to be less common these days. People walk in front of other folks with not a word. They butt in line without even feeling guilty. They even hurt and kill without compassion. Even companies don’t want to apologize for fear they’ll be sued.

Consider these non-apologies: “I’m sorry if you were offended, “Clearly…mistakes were made,” “I’m sorry you feel that way,” and the kind of one the congressman used, “I deeply regret that someone took my comments that way.”

Has someone said these things to you? Or have you said such things to other people?

When we ask for forgiveness from God, He expects us to be truly sorry for what we have done, not sorry that we were caught. The Bible clearly spells out what sin is, and we don’t have the excuse that we didn’t know something was wrong. Even man’s law says ignorance of the law is no excuse. In fact, scripture tells us that we have a way out from sin; we don’t have to do something bad.

Here are the words from 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation will also make a way of escape.”

The devotional book “The Bard and the Bible,” which gave me the ideas for this devotion, tells us of David’s humble apology to God after he sinned with Bathsheba. David prayed, “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions…” (Psalm 51:1-3).

Let’s follow David’s example and truly apologize when we should.

Donna Crowe is a minister’s wife.

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