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When you were growing up, did your parents ever tell you that you needed to apologize to someone after you did something wrong?

Well, according to new research, you should have stood your ground! Scientists have now discovered that “refusing to apologize results in greater self-esteem.” That is right. You will feel better about yourself if you don’t apologize, even if you actually did something wrong. Read the article – prepare for absurdity.

Two responses here. First, next time someone tries to tell you to deny your faith or the Bible because “science tells us” or “research shows” – please show them this article. Just because it is “research”, and published by people with “Dr.” in front of their name doesn’t mean it is true!

Second, while I hope that the majority of you already think this “research” is lunacy, both in terms of common sense and morality, we need to ask whether or not our apologies, and the apologies in our homes, are real.

The first step to a biblical apology is to confess—or simply to state what you did or didn’t do. The word confession means to “say with” or “agree with.” When we confess sin to God, we agree with Him that what we did was wrong. “I was rude to you.” “I was harsh with you.” “I lied to you.” Confession starts with “I,” it ends with “you,” and it has a verb in the middle. No excuses. No explanation. Just state what you did.

Next say, “I was wrong.” This is an easy one. Right after you go through your confession, simply say, “I was wrong.” Well . . . maybe it’s not so easy. I’m amazed at how many seemingly mature Christian adults are incapable of uttering these three little words: “I was wrong.” Try it right now. If people are around you, you can just whisper it so they don’t think you’re crazy. See how the words feel coming out of your mouth . . . “I was wrong.” Now think carefully. When was the last time you said this to someone? Everyone acknowledges that they make mistakes (translation—they do some things that are wrong). Yet hardly anyone ever utters the words, “What I did was wrong!” These are powerful words, particularly when they come from a heart of godly sorrow.

The next step is to say, “I am sorry.” For most people, this is all they say when they apologize. When I am sorry is used alone, it carries very little weight. When it is said within the context of a biblical apology, it is valuable.

The last step is to ask, “Will you please forgive me?” This is the million-dollar question when we seek to rebuild the broken foundations of a relationship. After we confess what we have done and not done, after we humbly acknowledge that those things were wrong, and that we are truly sorry, we then have the opportunity to ask the people we have hurt if they would be willing to give us a gift. Will you forgive me?

Contrary to “research” – apologizing and asking for forgiveness, is not for the weak and for those with low-self esteem, it is a mark of maturity, character, and godliness.

Take some time and read Matthew 18:25-35, Colossians 3:13, and Hebrews 12:15

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