What has happened in our society to the apology.
The definition of which is:
n. pl. a·pol·o·gies
1. An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.
2.a. A formal justification or defense.
b. An explanation or excuse: "The consequence of those measures will be the best apology for my conduct" (Daniel Defoe).
Our society has come to believe that an apology is a simple acknowledgment that you did it. Yeah, we KNOW you did it. How does your holding a press conference confirming what press pictures have SHOWN us in a million different ways constitute an apology?
An apology takes responsibility for the pain you've caused and forces accountability to avoid future bad behavior. Let's face it, if you're not going to QUIT cheating, there's no sense in "apologizing" for it. Hear that John Edwards?
So let's look at a few of our current apologies in the media:
"I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was unacceptable. And I am the only person to blame." Tiger Woods
Tiger may be the only one to blame, but he hurt a lot of people with his actions. Women who thought they might build a future with him (yeah, I know, but I don't want to get into the delusions), his wife, his mother, his fans. People who BELIEVED that Tiger was an upstanding man of integrity. Their core beliefs of the man they loved were challenged by his behavior. Think how shocking that must have been for them. Tiger included, because his false image was shattered, and he was left to deal with those core issues that were never dealt with. He will have to work hard to regain their trusts.
Going to rehab, working on rebuilding his relationship with his family. That is true apology. The above statement are merely words. Truth is action. I hope the best for Tiger and Elin, I really do.
In contrast, Mark Sanford apologized specifically to everyone and their dog about hiking the Appalachian trail:And I let them down and in every instance I would ask there forgiveness. Forgiveness is not an immediate process, it is in fact a process that takes time and I’ll be in that process for quite some weeks and months and I suspect years ahead.
But I’m here because if you were to look at God’s laws, in every instance it is designed to protect people from themselves. I think that that is the bottom line of God’s law. It is not a moral, rigid list of do’s and don’ts just for the heck of do’s and don’ts, it is indeed to protect us from ourselves. And the biggest self of self is indeed self. If sin is in fact grounded in this notion of what is it that I want, as opposed to somebody else.
What? Rambling man. Don't bring God into this. Not yet. Not before you launch into the teary ode to your soul-mate in Argentina. Mr. Sanford really doesn't see that he can't have it both ways. Note to Sanford: usually when apologizing for an affair, it's best to leave out how much you're in love for the other woman. At least in your first public venue where your wife and kids are watching. I read Jenny's book, which I loved, but wow, this is a man who is profoundly out of touch with reality and other people's feelings. And he always was. From their first date when she flew from NY to South Carolina and Mr. Chivalrous left his beater car with keys in the airport for her.
She saw it as a test that she'd passed. I guess that was a good thing because there would be many more tests to pass. Dangerous is the man who can use words like butter -- and worse, believes them to be true. I'm not hopeful Sanford will ever come out of his delusions.
Then, we move onto the worst of the apologies of all. I'll admit, my dislike of John Edwards runs deep. Ever since I saw that hair video where he took a half an hour to do his hair, I thought, what kind of MAN is that? But it went much deeper, bordering on revulsion when he ran for president, despite his wife having cancer. I see the pundits are currently trying to put the same sort of banner over Romney because his wife has MS. As an MS sufferer for 24 years, I can tell you they are categorically different. Cancer is an immediate battle for survival, at least hers was. It involved a fight and she shouldn't have had to battle it alone. Edwards' entitlement that he deserved to be president knew no limits. Here's one of his MANY pale apologies/LIES!
John Edwards admitted in a statement that he had an affair and that he "made a serious error in judgment" but denied he fathered a child or that he'd paid her off. In fact, Edwards went further, saying, "I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established. I only know that the apparent father has said publicly that he is the father of the baby.
But it is his baby, of course. So this puts Edwards in the same camp as your average Maury Povich guest. To DENY your own child for political gain? Oh dude, I so don't want to be you. Did you think they could switch the DNA like on "All My Children"?
Mistakes in life, sin, they are inevitable. We are not perfect. We have core needs and sometimes, we're very selfish about getting them met. But let's compare King David's apology to some of the above. King David not only had an affair with another man's wife, but he sent the husband off to get killed in the war, so that he could have her to himself. Not exactly the stuff of fairy tales. But David mans up. He owns what he did and the devastation he caused -- and that is what makes him a man. He must endure the death of his child, and his wife's sorrow.
"I have sinned against the Lord." Simple. Seems to leave out a few people, but I think there's so much in this statement. Because David was a man of God, and here he finds out that his actions did not match his core beliefs. After this, David and Bathsheba's baby dies. David fasts and hopes for God's favor on the baby, but it's not to be. The Bible says he goes and comforts his wife, and they have Solomon -- God's restoration for true repentance.
I used to be unable to understand how God could refer to David as having a whole heart for Him. But now I get that David was a passionate man in all areas of life. Of course, his sin would be in the passionate area. I see now that his apology was truly heartfelt and that God wanted his submission and his heart.