Beware of the sin of self-defense. Learn to give sincere apologies.

“Please forgive me for what you think I did.”

We human beings are excusers, defenders, and egotists. Our knee-jerk reaction is self-defense. Even we Christians can resort to "No Regrets" like the creative and meaningless one above. 

And there are others:
  • “I’m sorry you were offended” a way to apologize without admitting blame.(1) 
  • “I’m sorry if I did anything to offend you”— vague enough to keep our ego intact.
  • “Please forgive me, but….” giving us the ability to tack on excuses and accusations, thus voiding the apology.
  • "You misunderstood" allowing us to justify rude or selfish acts by explaining our motives (i.e. it's not what I did, it's what I thought that matters).
We can’t do anything about others' un-apologies, but we can ask the Lord to free us from the bondage of our own self-defense (James 4:8-10; 1 John 1:8-10). 

The Lord can help us to be genuinely sorry for our sins - sorry enough to repent honestly.
(1) There are times this apology is appropriate: when someone accuses you of doing something you didn't do. You can still express sorrow that they were hurt or offended. But if you have done something offensive, this is not an honest apology.
For a good example of genuine repentance, see David's confession in Psalm 51.
See these 1-Minute devotions:  Forgive Me or Else (He "Apologized" for his Affair) and How to Say "I'm Sorry."

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Beware of the sin of self-defense. Learn to give sincere apologies.

Beware of the sin of self-defense. Learn to give sincere apologies.

Bible Love Notes


  1. I see myself in those ego-protecting apologies. I want to let Christ have my heart and be more humble. Self defense is enslaving!

  2. Hi Gail - love love love this post, no apologies for that, lol
    God bless

  3. So true. I try hard to apologize correctly, even when it hurts my flesh. Harder yet is to complete the sincere apology with the request, "Will you forgive me?". I find when I do this and the person responds with forgivness there is a complete clearing of the air more so than with an apology only.

    1. So true, Angie. The correct thing is to ask forgiveness, and doing that eliminates the opportunity for most of these excuses, doesn't it?

  4. It is so difficult to give an truly honest apology. This was such a good post. A good reminder to be humble before God and others, especially our husband.

  5. O Lord help me to be transparent be for you and others. Help my heart to be pure and to do what's right in your eyes and heart.

  6. My ex husband would consistently verbally abuse our oldest daughter and I and never say he was sorry and he is/was a christian! Unfortunately, it was actions like this that turned her away from christanity.
    Not to point fingers only at him though because I've said the first one before!