How You Apologize Matters

How You Apologize Matters

The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal has rocked baseball as other teams, fans, and media members continue to be upset about the cheating that took place on their way to winning the 2017 World Series.

At this point, it’s hard for everything to be made right, but punishments have been handed out, and the current players are trying their best to put this situation behind them.

Their behavior and decisions to engage in the team-wide sign-stealing scheme have been viewed as unacceptable, and many are having a tough time forgiving the Astros for what they did.

However, the Astros continued the process of trying to move forward by holding a press conference and doing interviews to apologize and acknowledge that what they did was wrong. Here are a few of the comments that were made:

Third baseman Alex Bregman said, "I am really sorry about the choices that were made by my team, by the organization, and by me. I have learned from this and I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans."

Owner Jim Crane controversially said, "Our opinion is that this didn't impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series and we'll leave it at that.”

Shortstop Carlos Correa shared, “I don’t want my kids, I don’t want my brother, I don’t want my family members or people who follow me to think that it was right to cheat to be successful. What we did in 2017 was terrible. It was straight-up wrong. We all know it and feel really bad about it.”

When the obligatory apology press conferences are given in sports, fans and media members can’t help but critique the sincerity being displayed and judge whether or not we believe the guilty parties are remorseful. A part of us wonders if they’re upset about what they did, or just sorry that they got caught.

When we read or hear these statements, we can try and guess whether or not the individuals mean what they’re saying, but the truth is we don’t know how they really view what they did. What counts moving forward is whether or not their perspective on it leads them to repent, turn away from the cheating, and never do it again.

Before we get caught up in the judging and questioning of the Astros, we have our own sin to be accountable for. When we make our own mistakes, hurt someone, choose to participate in selfish behavior and get caught, what do our apologies look like?

Are they filled with denial, excuses, blame and an effort to downplay the severity, or are we genuinely upset about what we did and eager to repent?

The key to confessing, apologizing, and turning from sin is to agree with God that we were wrong, grieve the sin we committed, and admit we blew it without making excuses.

When we hurt someone else, we can’t just be upset that we got caught or be sorry that someone found out. Repentance happens when we truly hate what we did, and understand why it hurt someone and why it was disobedient to God. We actually feel pain and sorrow about what we did and run to God’s grace and forgiveness.

In 2 Corinthians 7 (NLT), the Apostle Paul writes to the church in Corinth and describes his joy because of their repentance. He had previously called them out on their sin, yet they responded well to what he said, which led him to write the following:

“Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants His people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.

"For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

"Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.”

Today, let’s acknowledge and confess the sin in our lives with sorrow that leads us to change our conduct and resume living for God.

Check out more from Bryce Johnson on sports, faith, and life at Unpackin’It_._

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