When You Are Sorry You Are Not Sorry
Much has been said and heard of how the devil recruited a host of other like-minded angels to rebel against God. He was hurled down the earth with his entourage after a fierce battle… awaiting final judgment. The multi-million dollar question on the minds of many, however, is, “If the devil went back to apologize to God, will he be accepted back?”
Offences are a part of life’s journey. Human as we are, we are bound to wrong others. The words of our mouths may displease others. What we do may not go down well with everybody. In our daily routines, we will step on a few toes intentionally or unintentionally. This should be a gentle reminder to us that no one is infallible.
It is human to err. However, it is inhumane to keep erring. When we keep hurting the same people the same way every day, no weight of apology may be genuine enough. It is wrong to keep repeating the same wrong!
Even if the devil takes a chance to go back to apologize, the big question may be, “Is he truly sorry?” When we wrong others and apologize duly, the big question is, “Are we sorry we are sorry?” Have we truly repented?
When we wrong people dear to our hearts a few times, our apology may look sincere. When the wrongs, however, become repeated, those wrongs will look premeditated. Apologizing for cheating on one’s spouse, for instance, may seem genuine. When infidelity, however, becomes one’s daily job, then, of course, no apology will ever make sense!
When we are committed to an apology, we do everything within our power to avoid a repetition of it. When others are dear to our hearts enough, we will be careful in our speech so we don’t hurt them. If we are truly committed to a genuine apology, we will walk carefully so we try not to step on the same toes over and over again.
Apologies don’t mean much if you will march down again the road that caused the pain. If you apologize in one minute and repeat the same wrong in the next minute, you make nonsense of any apology whatsoever. It takes great maturity to apologize. It, however, takes great wisdom to avoid apologizing again.
There’s a cause of every pain. Behind every hurt person is a reason. Knowing the root of every pain is as important as one’s apology. Where there’s no understanding of the cause, we can’t deal with the effects. If an apology is going to be a solution, then it should be tackling the reason for that apology. If you don’t know why you are apologizing today, there’s an extra room of apology for you tomorrow.
True apology is to uproot the root that causes others pain. If others are grieved by how we speak to them, what matters most is not to apologize after every bout of disrespect shoved in their face. What matters is speaking to them gently― with some dose of respect. That is the cause.
When we apologize to others, we always ought to know what we got wrong. Thereafter, a conscious effort should be made to do better next time. Apology without a sense of knowledge of what went wrong is useless. We are humans and we will sometimes err. However, always erring looks intentional whether we are ignorant of the root of the error or not. It is only an unrepentant heart that will apologize for vomiting… and go back to vomit again and again.
Apologies don’t mean much if you will march down again the road that causes people pain. True apology is to uproot the root that causes others pain. When we are sincere about our apology for a wrong done, it simply means we KNOW what we did wrong and WHY it was wrong and WHY we won’t repeat such because it is wrong.
Oftentimes, people apologize from their heads― not hearts― when they wrong others. They keep hurting others because they are not intentional about uprooting the cause of that hurt. Apology from the head heals people’s pain temporarily. An apology from the heart, however, does so permanently. When one apologizes from their head, they gloss over the causes of the pain. One who apologizes from the heart, however, takes a conscious effort to stay away from anything that will cause the same pain again.
When you truly love others, causing them pain is the last thing that would ever cross your mind. When they feel hurt, thus, by your actions or words, you find out WHY to know HOW it won’t be repeated. That is what true apology looks like!
When people who hurt others apologize from their head, they make them feel they are sorry but deep down their hearts, they are not. When we apologize from our heads, we certainly go back to inflict more pain on our victims. When we apologize from our hearts, we ascertain the root of what caused the pain… and destroy such roots.
When we apologize for a wrong done, we ought to make sure we have understood what caused the pain. After knowing the root, uproot it. If you wrong others, the best apology is to KNOW what you did that caused them grief… and vow never to repeat it.
The devil may one day have the guts to go ask for forgiveness but whether he would rebel again at the least opportunity is another matter worth considering.
Have you wronged someone? Have you apologized yet? Are you truly sorry that you are sorry?
Kobina Ansah is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm.