Christian Track – Making an Authentic Apology – Without Excuses or Justifications

The father with the son on bicycles,with a retro effect

Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.

“For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.”

-Commentary on Esau. Hebrews 12:17

“Repentance is more than reciting well-calculated words with a view toward minimizing our losses. Repentance, when it is genuine, is in fact not accompanied by calculation at all. It is utterly vulnerable.

It confesses more than has been found out. It never withholds information in the hope that one’s image and reputation will be preserved. It puts itself at the mercy of others, it does not presume to direct or control them.”

-Randy Alcorn

Say I’m Sorry

Mature Man Comforting Woman With DepressionOne of the greatest things we can teach our children and the next generation is that six of the most important words that can change your life are; “I AM SORRY, I WAS WRONG”.

No explanations, no ”But’s”, no excuses but full ownership of wrong attitudes, behaviors and actions. We live in an increasingly “blame-centered” culture and with such nonsense it promotes an ethic of “victim-thinking” so nothing is ever your fault.

Pain and bad situations are either done to you from a person or from an outside source and if you’re a victim than guess what? Nothing is ever your fault. Stuff, people, bad circumstances just HAPPEN to you!

The problem with such a perspective is that it leaves broken people to the mercy of everyone and everything else. People are powerless to change in such a worldview.

It seems to me that the solution isn’t to become a victim but rather to transition to becoming an owner one’s own life, attitude and actions.

Be Authentic

Authentic apologies begin where control, desired outcomes, and manipulation end. Authentic apologies at its core are submissive and give the control and the outcomes to the person you are apologizing to.

We tend to think an apology is good it’s emotional and “teary” but the Bible demonstrates through the life of Esau that tears aren’t synonymous with “Authentic Repentance”.

young man unable sleep because of stress of problemsAuthentic repentance values the relationship and reconciliation more than getting what was lost. Esau lost his own birthright, he apologized to try and get it back…that’s not authentic, that’s just further and deeper manipulation.

What are the relationships that you’ve damaged because you haven’t valued the person as much as you’ve valued the outcome? Where have you made excuses and gave “victim-centered explanations” instead of simply saying those six important words?

Those 6 words I’m trying to teach my kids might be the key to your recovery and your new life around the corner. Everything can change with those six simple words:


After you say those six words there’s one last step. And it’s a four-word question: “WILL YOU FORGIVE ME?”

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

How has taking the time to apologize and ask for forgiveness (or making amends) impacted your recovery?

Ryan Moffat FamilyAbout the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR

Addiction Hope is proud to announce the initiation of a special Christian Track of blogs and articles to commemorate the blessing of our sister site, Eating Disorder Hope’s 10th year anniversary. Watch for further content noted as “Christian Track”.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 28, 2015
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