The Master of the Non-Apology

Yesterday in a Facebook group I commented on one of the posts. Someone interpreted my comment differently than I had meant it and assumed the worst. I didn’t respond. They then commented to me, “Sorry if you took offense at what I said.” She was sorry if I took her comment the wrong way, but apparently was not acknowledging that she might have actually said something in a way that could be taken as offensive.

I get it. She reminds me of me. You see, I mastered the non-apology decades ago back in college and used it as a weapon.

non-apology I don’t think that person yesterday was being malicious at all. Rather, it made me think of how far I’ve come from those college days when I could be quite malicious with my words. I’ve learned there is a better way.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29.)

And while I am aware of this better way, I confess I do not always follow it. God is gracious to me, though, and I try to remember to live out his grace in how I speak to others.

I apologize if I don’t get it right.


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12 Responses to The Master of the Non-Apology

  1. Jeannie says:

    I’ve had that said to me too, Tim, by someone whose words were hurtful: “I’m sorry you felt that way.” And I’m sure I’ve said it or at least thought it, too.

  2. Terri says:

    After I started replying, “Don’t apologize to me for my feelings — they don’t require an apology” then I made an effort to stop making that type of apology myself in the first place. I’m certain I’m a hypocrite in some areas, but I try not to be!

  3. Pastor Bob says:

    A famous commentator stated that he was rarely sorry for the words he spoke, for truth needs no apology. He apologized only for the hurt feelings.

    Does that sound OK?

    Open for ALL comments, thanks.

    • Tim says:

      The Bible says we are to speak the truth in love, which suggests to me that there are ways to speak the truth that is devoid of love. Without love, we are just clanging gongs, after all. I’d disagree then that the truth needs no apology, because if it is said in an unloving way then confession should be made and forgiveness sought.

  4. Tim says:

    I’m attempting to keep the comment section reserved for comments about the topics raised in the posts.

  5. Ruth says:

    ‘It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it. Let’s call the whole thing off!’
    So go the words to song that was popular a long time ago.
    If what is being told is the truth, then:
    ‘It ain’t what you say, it’s the way that you say it!! Let’s do the whole thing soft’.
    So it doesn’t rhyme very well, maybe some one can fix that, but you get the drift……

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