Gary Chapman in his book “The Five Languages of Apology” says that “In a perfect world, there would be no need for apologies. But because the world is imperfect, we cannot survive without them.” In his book, he goes on to describe what these Five Languages of Apology are. “Most people are looking for sincerity and genuineness in an apology. There are five basic elements to an apology and in order to be sensed as genuine, a person needs to speak in a way that conveys to the offended one's sincerity. Then they will regard your apology as genuine and likely accept it. The five languages of apology are:
1. “Expressing Regret” - the emotional aspect of an apology, saying “I’m sorry”. Expressing to the offended person your own sense of guilt, shame, and pain that your behavior has hurt them deeply. Expressing regret is fundamental to good relationships. An apology has more impact when it is specific, “I’m sorry for …….” And then be specific. When we are specific we are communicating that we realize how much we have hurt them. Sincere regret must not be followed by the word, “But”
2. “Accepting Responsibility” - for one’s actions, or one’s wrong behavior.
3. “Making Restitution” - “What can I do to make it right?”
4. “Genuinely Repenting” - “I’ll try not to do that again”. Make a plan to change behavior.
5. “Requesting Forgiveness” - “Will you please forgive me?” Requesting forgiveness can indicate that they want the relationship restored. Requesting forgiveness can show that you realize you have done something wrong. Requesting forgiveness indicates that you are willing to put the future of the relationship in the hands of the offended person.
Sincere apologies are a gift to an offended person. They pave the way for genuine forgiveness and reconciliation. Let’s remember that forgiveness is a choice. Apologizing opens up a whole new world of emotional and spiritual health. When apology becomes a way of life, relationships will remain healthy. People will find the acceptance, support, and encouragement they need. May we learn to recognize and overcome our tendency to blame, deny, or offer quick and weak apologies without truly dealing with the offense.”
Roy Holmquist - NWFC Senior Pastor
* Extracted from our March 4th, 2018 Sunday Worship Bulletin.