When we add excuses and justifications to an apology, we hit the delete button.
And our excuses usually keep us from seeing our need to change.
We have two stellar examples in Scripture.
King Saul disobeyed God's orders (1 Samuel 15).
When Samuel confronted him:
1. Saul claimed he'd obeyed (13).
2. Blame-shifted his responsibility to others (15).
3. Explained how he'd "mostly" obeyed (15).
4. Claimed he obeyed in a statement that proved he hadn't (3*, 20-21).
5. Blame-shifted and claimed they'd disobeyed God in order to honor God (21)!
6. Finally agreed he'd sinned, but explained why (24).
7. Wanted to be honored while he publicly pretended to respect God (30).
The second example is David (2 Samuel 11-12).
When Nathan confronted David:
1. David admitted his sin without qualification or excuse (12:13).
2. Sorrowfully confessed and repented (Psalm 51).
No wonder God rejected Saul, but continued to use David as a godly example (2 Kings 14:3; 2 Kings 16:2).
Let's learn from David's "short list" example.
* If you are troubled by God's command in this passage, please read: Why Did God Destroy Entire Nations?