I've spent a peculiar amount of time analyzing apologies recently on this blog. Why? In large part, I did this because the nature of genuine repentance is one of the greatest themes of my life and ministry. Genuine repentance is vital to the initiation and continuation of the Christian life. So what has been learned by looking at numerous examples of various apologies? Today I will list what I've learned is the mark of a bad apology:
Marks of a BAD apology
1. A bad apology is late in arriving. Any apology that is initiated by the evidence rather than the guilty party is (and should be) automatically suspect. A time-gap between the sin and the apology probably means that conviction has been rejected and excuses/justifications have already been made. This leads to a 'sorry I got caught' mentality more readily than a genuinely repentant mindset.
2. A bad apology casts blame on others in addition to accepting some of the blame (if all blame is cast on others, it's simply NOT an apology). The more blame is cast on others, the worse the apology really is.
3. A bad apology changes the subject. I noticed that in many of the celebrity apologies the subject change was from the offense to the problem of media in America. Often the subject change is directed toward the person or people who exposed the sin.
4. A bad apology uses bland wording. Words like sin give way to words like mistake and accident (and countless other examples).
5. A bad apology claims pure motives for the sinful decision (or the decision to not repent sooner).
6. A bad apology compares the sin in question favorably against general human depravity. What was done was wrong, but it wasn't a very big deal in the grand scheme of things.