When an Apology is Real

photo credit to Riz Mooney, upsplash

As betrayed women, we hear a lot of apologies. We wonder how sincere they are. After all, often the offenses keep recurring, and apologies keep coming.

Repentance is making a 180ΒΊ turn from wrongdoing- away from sin and back to God. So if someone is truly repentant, there shouldn’t be so many apologies, right?

That’s the problem. Quite often we hear, “I’m sorry”, but sorry for what? For getting caught? True sorrow for an offense will mean a change in behavior, but that’s not always what happens.

I love Dave Willis’ 5 Steps to know when an apology is real.

  1. Freely admitting fault.
  2. Fully accepting responsibility.
  3. Humbly asking forgiveness.
  4. Immediately changing behavior.
  5. Actively rebuilding trust.

(Go to DaveWillis.org for more information.)

Building trust begins with a sincere and contrite heart. Words alone are not enough. Look for actions and review the 5 steps when you hear an apology (to know if it’s real- or not)!


  1. This is similar to “The Five Languages of Apology.” I remember doing a lesson on apologies in my speech class. All I told the students the day before was that I was going to teach them a very powerful method of speech that can help keep a job, save a reputation, mend a broken friendship, preserve a marriage, improve customer relations, and prevent wars. They came to class the next day very excited. πŸ˜‰

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