How to say “I’m sorry.”

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I'm Sorry

I’m giving up chicken for Lent. Which may not seem like a big deal, but it’s only been a day and I’m already feeling signs of withdrawal. I knew this would happen. I picked chicken specifically because I knew it would be hard to give up. I knew it would stay on my mind. And I knew it would frequently remind me of the discipline required by faith.

If you are a regular reader, you may have seen the post about Gary Chapman’s Love Languages. If not, you can find my Love Language post here. But let’s move on to apologies.

Top reasons to learn how to apologize

  1. If you’ve ever loved anyone, there have been times you’ve hurt them.
  2. If you ever plan to love anyone, there will be times when you hurt them.

In any relationship, learning how to apologize is as critical a skill as learning to show you care. The reason to learn someone’s apology language is to build discipline around how you seek their forgiveness. It helps you customize your words to the ones they value most. You probably default to the Apology Language that you prefer to receive. This is not always the one your friend, spouse, or child most wants to hear from you.

The Five Apology Languages

  • Expressing Regret: “I’m sorry. I should not have done that.”
  • Accepting Responsibility: “I’m sorry. This is all my fault.”
  • Making Restitution: “I’m sorry. I will make it up to you.”
  • Genuinely Repenting: “I’m sorry. This will not happen again.”
  • Requesting Forgiveness: “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”

Which one sounds best to you? Not sure? Click here to take Gary Chapman’s Apology Language quiz. Be sure to share your results and have those close to you take the quiz as well.

We are teaching about personal relationships this weekend to the teens in our leadership group. Apology Languages will undoubtedly come up.  Forgiveness is a complex topic and the teenagers always leave me with a new perspective. That’s why this post is destined for a Part II, because sometimes an apology isn’t enough.

Does giving an apology count as service?

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