On April 7, 2022, Senator Joni Ernst confronted President Biden’s Tennessee Valley Authority nominee who called her “hideous” on Twitter. When asked why she said something so insulting, Beth Geer responded with a modern version of an apology saying, “”Well, I apologize if I offended you, and I appreciate you bringing it to my attention,” Geer then said. “And I do, in fact, believe that civility is key, and I’m sorry that I did not demonstrate that, in your opinion, with that tweet.”
There were two times in the apology that revealed it as insincere.
First, Geer used the word, “if”. There is no “if” about the matter. The Tweet was in the public domain, and it was meant to be insulting.
Second, Geer used the phrase, “in your opinion”, indicating she did not believe she was uncivil in her tweet. Here is a repentance that needs to be repented of.
What should be said about such insincere apologies?
First, such apologies should be reprimanded, and identified for what they are, self-serving, and outrageously inappropriate.
Second, such apologies should not be used as a clever example of a non-apology, apology. People may think they are sophistical and clever when they use such language, but their hearts are cruel, cold, and calculating.
Third, Christians in particular should be very specific, demonstrably humble, and absolutely sincere when offering an apology to man or God. The Psalmist prayed, “Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.”~ Psalm 51:14
“In this SOLEMN CONFESSION,” wrote Charles Spurgeon, “it is pleasing to observe that David plainly names his sin. He does not call it manslaughter, nor speak of it as an imprudence by which an unfortunate accident occurred to a worthy man, but he calls it by its true name, bloodguiltiness. He did not actually kill the husband of Bathsheba; but still it was planned in David’s heart that Uriah should be slain, and he was before the Lord his murderer.
Learn in confession to be honest with God. Do not give fair names to foul sins; call them what you will, they will smell no sweeter. What God sees them to be, that do you labour to feel them to be; and with all openness of heart acknowledge their real character. Observe, that David was evidently oppressed with the heinousness of his sin. It is easy to use words, but it is difficult to feel their meaning. The fifty-first Psalm is the photograph of a contrite spirit. Let us seek after the like brokenness of heart; for however excellent our words may be, if our heart is not conscious of the hell-deservingness of sin, we cannot expect to find forgiveness.
Our text has in it AN EARNEST PRAYER-it is addressed to the God of salvation. It is his prerogative to forgive; it is his very name and office to save those who seek his face. Better still, the text calls him the God of my salvation. Yes, blessed be his name, while I am yet going to him through Jesus’ blood, I can rejoice in the God of my salvation.”
The psalmist ends with A COMMENDABLE VOW: if God delivers him, he will sing-nay, more, he will “sing aloud.” Who can sing in any other style of such a mercy as this! But note the subject of the song-“THY RIGHTEOUSNESS.” We must sing of the finished work of a precious Saviour; and he who knows most of forgiving love will sing the loudest.
When you offer someone an apology, leave out the word “if” and just say you are truly sorry. When you offer someone an apology, do not use any qualifying phrases. Be sincere, and let your repentance be as deep as the transgression.