We all have made mistakes in life. Some of our mistakes were larger and more devastating, while others more subtle, having lesser impact on those around us. Regardless the magnitude or the intention of the blunder, there are times when an apology is appropriate.
Isn’t it interesting that people respond differently in regards to their mistakes? Some never acknowledge they’ve made mistakes. They move from one mistake to another, never admitting they’ve done anything wrong. It may be because they don’t realize their actions have hurt or offended others, or they don’t feel the need to apologize, even if they realized their actions were hurtful or offensive. Others say they are sorry only when they get caught in their actions. They aren’t truly repentant, they are only sorry that someone found out what they have done. Then there are those who apologize for everything. They do it to keep the peace, not because they genuinely feel remorse about their actions. Lastly, there are those who realize their mistakes, feel remorse about them and apologize to those they’ve hurt or offended.
It’s not easy for many people to apologize genuinely for their mistakes. Many relationships have been ruined because one or both parties refuse to offer a genuine apology. A simple “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” can tear down a wall before it becomes a stronghold. A genuine apology can reunite people who have been distanced by an offense. Offering an apology can open the gates of communication, thereby helping to melt anger and bitterness that have been stored up for years.
Why is it so difficult to offer a genuine apology? Many times pride is the culprit. A haughty attitude blocks one from admitting that he is wrong, or if he realizes he is wrong, he’s too prideful to humble himself and apologize for his mistake. Another reason is the person may not realize that he’s committed a wrong. In that case, the offended person must tell the offender that he was hurt or offended, giving the offender an opportunity to respond appropriately.
In either case, a genuine apology can serve as a healing balm to an aching soul. It doesn’t cost money, and the only price you may pay is your pride. Now think about it for a moment. Is that relationship more valuable than a chunk of your pride? If it is, offer a genuine apology. Once you do, what happens next is out of your hands. But you never know, a genuine apology may repair a relationship that’s been on the brink. And even if it doesn’t repair the relationship, it will give you the satisfaction of knowing that you took the high road in making things right.