What comes to mind when you think of the word: excuse. Write about it in five minutes or less!
Lately I've been struck by the fact that there is a big difference between an apology and asking someone for forgiveness. Generally, an apology is an "I'm sorry"...but with no owning of bad behavior. It is empty and full of excuses. It also leaves the wronged person with very little to say or do...and with a clear understanding that the other person is far from sorry.
There is a better way. If we first acknowledge that we have sinned: "I was wrong" followed by 2.identifying that specific sin in it's biblical name: "What I did was selfish, rude, dishonest..." and then 3.identify a biblical behavior to demonstrate our resolve to repent..."I should have been clearer" or "The next time I will tell the truth no matter how afraid I am of the consequences" and then finally "Will you forgive me?" Measuring ourselves against God's standard for our behavior leaves no room for our excuses.
This truly leads to heart changes...it removes all those awful excuses we make for our bad behavior. We see our sin FIRST, as WORST, and MOST! So often we think we can make these excuses as we wait for the other party to be sorry or own their part of the conflict. That's not what God has called us to...Stop making excuses...truly ask for forgiveness...let God take care of the rest.
Ephesians 4:32 "Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."