Monday, May 21, 2018

7 Marks of a Good Apology by Brad Hambrick

Brad Hambrick is the Pastor of Counseling at the Summit Church in NC. His website is filled with biblical counseling wisdom and resources.

In the message yesterday on Psalm 51, I summarized part of his helpful post entitled, “7 Marks of a Good Apology Vs 8 Marks of Bad Apology” I'd encourage you to go read the whole thing, but here's the summary I quoted yesterday: 

Repentance is when we quit trying to make our dysfunction “work” and embrace the life-giving alternative to our sin that God offers.
7 Marks of a Good Apology
1. Address Everyone Involved.
When you fail to seek forgiveness you leave that person believing you think your actions were acceptable to God
2. Avoid If, But, and Maybe.
Our first tendency in repentance is to soften what we admit. Words like if, but, and maybe have no place in repentance. “If” calls into question whether what you did was really wrong. “But” transforms repentance into accusation. “Maybe” indicates you are not convinced your actions were wrong and invites a conversation (or debate) that is likely to go badly and, regardless, is not repentance.
3. Admit Specifically.
Generic confession is often a sign of insincerity. “We all know what happened,” is no excuse for brevity. Hearing that you can be specific without falling into blame-shifting or self-pity is an important indicator that you are a “safe” person and that restoration is wise.
4. Apologize (Acknowledge the Hurt).
Sin has consequences; both intentional and unintentional. Repentance expresses empathy and often takes responsibility for the dominoes that fall as a result of our sin. This is not groveling or penance (both of which are emotionally manipulative). It is an exercise in other-mindedness. 
5. Accept the Consequence.
Repentance is not a plea-bargain or negotiation. Repentance is not a time when we establish the “acceptable terms” for our sin. …we are not presenting a contract or deal, but that we are seeking to be restored to a person.
6. Alter Your Behavior.
The repentant conversation is not the culmination of the journey.
…repentance, …is rooted in the Gospel paradigm of dying to self to find life.
7. Ask for Forgiveness & Allow Time.
…forgiveness is commanded by God, but Scripture never calls on the confessing party to be the one who reminds others of this command or to insist that it be obeyed. As a general rule to promote humility and patience, allow at least as much time for forgiveness as it took you to come to repentance. It is hypocritical to expect someone else to process suffering (your sin against them) faster than you changed your sin.

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