There is an art to apology. I’m trying to teach this to my children. When you march up to someone and grind out, “I’m sorry,” that’s not an apology. I do understand that we are rarely sorry about the things we do. Those are deep feelings and hard to to change. However, we can recognize that what we did hurt or upset another person. This is where the art comes into play. Since it is difficult to say “I was wrong”, we should say something like, “I know I hurt you and I won’t do it again”. This way we don’t have to lie about remorse, which will eventually come, and there’s no expectation that the other person must also apologize. Perhaps most significantly, we don’t have to feel like we’ve lost a battle.
We are not weak because we apologize. It is an extraordinarily difficult thing to apologize. Those who can apologize are strong. Those who apologize well and with grace are great. I’m strong (and hopefully I can go further), and I pray that I can teach my children to be great.