If, If, If…
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other…
Ephesians 4:32 The best way to ruin a confession is to use words that shift the blame to others or that appear to minimize or excuse your guilt. The most common way to do this is to say, “I’m sorry if I’ve done something to upset you.”
The word if ruins this confession, because it implies that you do not know whether or not you did wrong.
The message you are communicating is this: “Obviously you’re upset about something.
I don’t know that I have done anything wrong, but just to get you off my back I’ll give you a token apology.”
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 127
Food for Thought
How often does if show up in your confessions?
A great way to ruin your engine on your car? Never, ever change the oil.
A sure-fire way to ruin your credit rating? Never, ever pay your bills on time.
What about ruining your reputation at work? Never, ever keep your appointments. And the best way to ruin a confession? Each and every time, use the word “if.”
Too many times, it leads to an empty confession. All the words may be right and proper (I’m sorry), but the heart is missing. And anything without a heart is usually dead, good for nothing. The word “confess” means “to agree with” — you’re agreeing that you’ve done something wrong. If you’re not ready to agree, then don’t confess. Because that ruins everything.
I often use the if clause, much to my own detriment. This post pretty much says it all. Can anyone relate?