Tag Archives: guilt

Apologies revisited: Heard a good one lately?


Public, direct, and heartfelt apologies are difficult…and rare.

I’ve written here numerous times about apologies and repentance. I find public apologies very interesting, especially by those who can afford to pay someone to help them “get it right.” Last week I listened to a public figure hold a press conference after his conviction for DUI. This person has a lot of money and access to all of the best “coaches”. And yet, his apology was all about himself. Asked what he learned? “I learned that life is full of second chances and I got one.” Now, that could mean that he realizes that he was protected from killing someone with his car. He avoided ending his career. Or, it could mean something far less than remorse. Really, his “apology” was all about himself.
 
Here’s my question to readers: Have you witnessed or experienced a “home run” apology? What made it so? What features were present? How did you know it wasn’t merely learning the right words? Did you ever think you received a real heartfelt apology only to discover later it wasn’t?

In “Machete Season” (book about Rwandan “killers”), one victim gives one requirement:

“If killers come to church to pray to God on their knees, to show us their remorse, I cannot pray either with them or against them. Real regrets are said eye to eye, not to statues of God.” (p. 163)

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Filed under conflicts, Cultural Anthropology, News and politics, Repentance, self-deception

John Freeman’s story of God’s mercy


Several of the folks at HarvestUSA (see my sidebar for their site) have written pieces for the Philadelphia Daily News. My friend John’s piece was published most recently so click the link and read and rejoice in God’s redemptive power.

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Filed under Christianity: Leaders and Leadership, Relationships, Sex

ER: Is it easier to feel guilt than forgiveness?


Someone sent me a link to a recent ER show where a dying man is talking to a chaplain about his guilt and whether or not he can be forgiven for his taking innocent life. While some of the chaplain’s comments are relativistic mumbo-jumbo, she has one very insightful comment.  The dying man says something to suggest he can’t make up for his sins. The chaplain says,

“[Sometimes I think] it’s easier to feel guilt than forgiven….that your guilt is your reason for living…but maybe you need something else to live for.”

I may not have gotten that quote just right at the end as I was scribbling it down. But, this line is very powerful. In fact, some make a living out of guilt, depression, hopelessness, etc. They can’t imagine life any different. Pride makes it hard to give up what feels to have become a central feature to their identity. While her counsel was terrible, she was right on the money about the nature of guilt and the difficulty in giving it up. He would have to accept that he received something he did not deserve and could never pay back.  

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Filed under counseling, cultural apologetics, Forgiveness