Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Shock and Awe of Apologies

Apple Computers did the unthinkable.  No, they didn’t invent something discontinue the iPhone.  No, they didn’t give their Macbooks away for free.  It was way worse.  Apple Computers apologized.

A couple weeks ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a letter of apology to customers.  Apple had released a new application that was riddled with bugs.  Customers were unhappy.  Apple listened to their feedback, realized the product didn’t live up to the company’s standards, and posted a letter of apology on their website.

What struck me about the apology was not the apology itself.  The letter read like your standard act of repentance.  What struck me was the shock of the people Apple apologized to.  People were genuinely surprised.  News outlets led with the story.  Bold, alarming fonts announced the news on the front page of websites.  Bloggers analyzed the meaning, intent, and ramifications of the apology.  People were really surprised – even shocked.

For Christians, apologies are hardly a surprise.  Apologies are a way of life.  The Bible teaches us that we are all broken people who make mistakes.  The best thing we can do about our mistakes is admit them, ask those we have hurt for forgiveness, and go a different direction.  The Bible tells us, “Therefore confess your sins to each other…” For Jesus’ people, apologies are a way of life.

As you go through the coming week, don’t hesitate to apologize.  When you have wronged someone, act quickly.  Say you’re sorry.  If you have spent time covering up a mistake, trying to hide it from others, stop wasting your time.  Instead, say, “Hey, I really got that wrong.  Please forgive me.” Though the world may be shocked by the apology, they will be even more surprised by the freedom it brings you.

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