Meaningful vs. Meaningless Apologies
MEANINGFUL VS. MEANINGLESS APOLOGIES
By Rev. Renee
At one time or another, we’ve all received an apology we didn’t really feel all that good about. An apology that leaves us feeling pressured to forgive and restore a relationship without quieting any of our fears that the one who offended us or betrayed us can’t be trusted not to repeat or continue his unacceptable behavior.
The kind of apology that attempts to absolve the offender of any wrongdoing, or tries to make us feel responsible for someone else’s offensive behavior toward us, that tries to blame us for our own victimization or betrayal. The kind of apology that accuses us of overreacting, being too sensitive, or taking what was said or done the wrong way.
An apology where the offender never actually acknowledges that he was wrong or takes responsibility for his behavior. An apology that attempts to make light of the offense. Apologies that try to “turn it around” and accuse the victim of being the offender.
Apologies that are “too little, too late”, given weeks, months, or even years later, after you’ve moved on with your life. Apologies that are only given because the abuser now wants or needs something from you.
An apology calculated to make it seem as if you have misjudged the offender; for instance, one in which the offender tells you he is praying for you or uses other religious references in an attempt to make himself seem too nice, religious or Godly to have actually done what you say he did.
An apology in which the offender gives absolutely no assurance that he won’t do exactly the same thing again the next time- one in which the offender shows no desire or intent at all to change. Apologies that simply offer rationalizations, justifications, and lame excuses.
A grudging apology that is only given to shut you up and get you to move on or not tell anyone else about the offense or betrayal. An apology that would never have been given at all if the offender wasn’t caught red-handed in his wrongdoing. An apology that demands immediate forgiveness, and tries to make you feel guilty or un-Christian-like if you hesitate.
My personal pet peeve is the vague, half-baked apology in which the offender says she is sorry for “what happened” or sorry for “the way things turned out” instead of sorry for “what I did” or sorry for “what I said”. It drives me crazy when I watch or read a news story about the conviction or sentencing of a murderer or a drunk driver who killed someone and the guilty party “apologizes” to the victim’s family by saying “I’m sorry for ‘what happened’” , “I’m sorry ‘this happened’” or “I’m sorry ‘for your family’s pain’” instead of “I’m sorry for what I did”, “I’m sorry I killed your loved one “, or “I apologize for the pain I caused your family.” The loved one didn’t just “happen” to die, the criminal killed him! This lame “apology” is an attempt to sway the judge into giving a more lenient sentence because the criminal has “shown remorse”, while never actually admitting any guilt or taking any responsibility. Many times insult is added to injury by the “poor” killer whining about how much he is suffering now by having to "live with this” for the rest of his life!
We can often observe exactly the same dynamic at work in meaningless apologies given to victims of abusive relatives. A wishy-washy, non-committal, half-hearted apology given strictly for expediency’s sake, without ever clearly owning up to what he did, is an abuser’s way of attempting to buy some leniency from, or get back into the good graces of, the victim, or others who might disapprove of what he did, with the least possible amount of effort on his part, no admission of wrongdoing or guilt, and no commitment to changing his ways. Ever self-centered, abusive people often go on to add how the family rift (which they caused), is affecting them, how much they are suffering, and how hard it is for them to “live with this.” As usual, when dealing with an abuser, betrayer, or control-freak, you will find it’s always all about him!
Even more useless is the “Non-Apology”, in which a betrayer or offender hopes to restore a relationship she had destroyed by arranging to “coincidentally” or “accidentally” be in the victim’s presence and just start talking again, as if nothing had ever happened, and without ever actually having to apologize at all. This maneuver is usually attempted in front of other people in an effort to embarrass or pressure the victim into “burying the hatchet” and speaking to the offender again rather than risk appearing unforgiving. After abusing or seriously betraying a loved one, it would seem that the offender would have to be in denial to the point of psychosis to actually think that this ruse would work and she could just pick up where she left off. Yet, many betrayers or abusers do just that, and even more incredibly, many victims sheepishly allow it, thus marching right back into a destructive relationship that is never going to change.
Meaningless apologies are given for the purpose of benefiting the offender in some way instead of helping the victim to feel better. They only pay lip service to being sorry, but there is no actual remorse. They are an attempt to just “get it over with” while allowing the abuser to come out of it looking good in some way, with his pride and dignity still intact. They are often intended to subtly make the victim look like the guilty one who will not be “satisfied” with an apology.
Unfortunately, much of what defines an abusive person is extreme selfishness and an exaggerated sense of entitlement, rather than humility and genuine concern for others. Much to the surprise of many abusers, they are not entitled to forgiveness merely on the basis of an empty, trite, worthless, or insincere apology.
An important distinction needs to be made. God requires us to forgive whenever there is repentance, just as he forgives us when we repent. (Luke 17:3, Colossians , Ephesians , Ezekiel 33:10-19, Isaiah 55:6, Jeremiah & 26:3, Luke 13: 3 & 5, Acts )
However, a mere apology does not constitute repentance. Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary defines “Repent” as “to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life; to feel regret or contrition”. The Oxford American Dictionary defines “Repent” as “to feel regret about what one has done or failed to do.” When one who has victimized us has demonstrated that he truly regrets what he has done, and that he has turned from his abusive behavior and has dedicated himself to changing his ways- only then are we scripturally required to forgive. Even then, although we are required to forgive, we are still not required to reconcile.
There is no reason to accept a meaningless apology. Here are some characteristics of a meaningless apology, given by an unrepentant offender:
*IS PHONY AND INSINCERE INSTEAD OF GENUINE AND HEARTFELT.
*DOESN’T ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR WRONGDOING.
*IS VAGUE- DOESN’T MENTION ANY SPECIFICS ABOUT WHAT EXACTLY THE OFFENDER IS APOLOGIZING FOR- “I KNOW I MADE SOME MISTAKES”, “I WILL OWN WHAT IS MINE"(WITHOUT EVER ACTUALLY DOING IT), “I COULD HAVE HANDLED THINGS DIFFERENTLY”….*DOESN’T ACKNOWLEDGE THE DAMAGE DONE TO THE VICTIM BY THE OFFENDING WORDS OR ACTIONS.
*NEVER ACTUALLY USES THE WORDS “I’M SORRY” OR “I APOLOGIZE”.
*VAGUELY SAYS “I APOLOGIZE FOR’WHAT HAPPENED’” INSTEAD OF FOR “WHAT I DID.”
*BLAMES THE VICTIM, BY IMPLYING OR TELLING HER POINT-BLANK THAT SOMETHING SHE DID OR SAID CAUSED HIM TO DO WHAT HE DID TO HER.
*IS GIVEN ONLY TO AVOID PUNISHMENT OR NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES.
*TRIES TO AVOID ACTUALLY HAVING TO FACE THE VICTIM AND DEAL DIRECTLY WITH HER PAIN OR HURT FEELINGS.
*ATTEMPTS TO AVOID ANY ACTUAL DISCUSSION OF THE HURTFUL INCIDENT-“I SAID I WAS SORRY. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT? LET’S JUST DROP IT.”
*IS GIVEN GRUDGINGLY, AS IF BEING FORCED TO APOLOGIZE-MAY BE GIVEN THROUGH CLENCHED TEETH, OR WITH AN ANGRY, RESENTFUL, OR BITTER FACIAL EXPRESSION OR TONE OF VOICE.
*TRIES TO “TURN IT AROUND” AND ACCUSE THE VICTIM OF DOING WHAT THE OFFENDER ACTUALLY DID (PROJECTION), OF DOING SOMETHING TO THE OFFENDER FIRST (WHICH CAUSED HIM TO RETALIATE), OR OF DOING SOMETHING TO “DESERVE IT”.
*WAITS FOR MONTHS OR YEARS TO PASS, SO HOPEFULLY THE VICTIM WILL FORGET HALF OF WHAT WAS DONE TO HER, AND CAN BE ACCUSED OF NOT “LETTING BYGONES BE BYGONES” IF SHE DOESN’T.
*TRIES TO DEFEND, RATIONALIZE, JUSTIFY, EXPLAIN, OR EXCUSE BEHAVIOR THAT CAUSED PAIN FOR OTHERS-TO SHOW THAT THERE WAS A GOOD REASON FOR THE OFFENSE, THEREBY IMPLYING THAT THE VICTIM IS WRONG FOR BEING OFFENDED.
*FOCUSES ON THE OFFENDER’S FEELINGS RATHER THAN THOSE OF THE VICTIM-“I MISS OUR RELATIONSHIP”, “ I WANT YOU BACK IN MY LIFE”, “I HAVE NOTHING IN MY LIFE WITHOUT YOU”, YOU KNOW I HATE BEING ALONE FOR THE HOLIDAYS.”
*IS GIVEN ONLY TO MAKE THE OFFENDER LOOK GOOD TO OTHERS “I WAS THE BIGGER PERSON- I APOLOGIZED.”
*IS GIVEN BECAUSE THE OFFENDER NOW NEEDS SOMETHING FROM THE VICTIM OR WANTS HER TO DO SOMETHING FOR HIM.
*TRIES TO MAKE THE VICTIM DOUBT HER OWN FEELINGS OR PERCEPTIONS-“I DIDN’T MEAN IT LIKE THAT”, “THAT’S NOT EXACTLY WHAT I SAID”, “YOU TOOK IT THE
*IS CONDITIONAL- “I’M SORRY, BUT….”
*ATTEMPTS TO MAKE THE VICTIM FEEL GUILTY-'YOU KNOW, YOU'RE NOT PERFECT EITHER', 'WE BOTH HAVE TO FORGIVE EACH OTHER', 'I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE TALKING TO ME THIS WAY!'
*TRIES TO EVOKE UNDERSTANDING OR SYMPATHY FOR THE OFFENDER-“BUT IN ALL FAIRNESS TO ME….”
*STATES OR INSINUATES THAT SHE DID WHAT SHE DID FOR THE VICTIM’S “OWN GOOD” OR TO HELP THE VICTIM IN SOME WAY.
*REFERS TO THE INCIDENT AS A “MISUNDERSTANDING” OR A “MISTAKE” DESPITE SOLID EVIDENCE, OR EVEN A PRIOR ADMISSION, THAT IT WAS INTENTIONAL.
*IS DELIVERED IN A PATRONIZING, CONDESCENDING, SARCASTIC, OR “HUMOROUS” MANNER.
*MINIMIZES OR TRIVIALIZES THE DAMAGE DONE OR THE VICTIM’S FEELINGS.
*PLACES RESPONSIBILITY FOR FEELING HURT OR BETRAYED ON THE VICTIM-SAYS “I’M SORRY YOU FEEL BAD” INSTEAD OF “I’M SORRY I HURT YOU”.
*THE OFFENDER DOESN’T OWN UP TO DOING ANYTHING OFFENSIVE, OR CLAIMS INNOCENT SURPRISE AT THE VICTIM’S HURT FEELINGS-“I’M SORRY IF I HURT YOU” INSTEAD OF “I’M SORRY THAT I HURT YOU”.
*IS DONE WITH THE LEAST POSSIBLE EFFORT OR IN SUCH A WAY AS TO CAUSE THE LEAST AMOUNT OF DISCOMFORT TO THE OFFENDER, PERHAPS THROUGH E-MAIL, OR USING ANOTHER PERSON AS AN INTERMEDIARY.
*IS GIVEN JUST TO GET THE WHOLE THING OVER WITH.
*EXPECTS THE APOLOGY TO MAGICALLY ERASE ALL THE HURT WITHOUT ANY FURTHER EFFORT REQUIRED.
*DOES NOT ASSURE THE VICTIM IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN-PRETENDS TO BE OFFENDED THAT THE VICTIM WOULD EVEN SUGGEST THAT HE MIGHT DO IT AGAIN UNLESS HE PROMISES NOT TO.
*DOES NOT THINK RESTITUTION SHOULD BE EXPECTED-CLAIMS HIS APOLOGY SHOULD BE ENOUGH.
*DOES NOT OFFER TO, OR FEEL SHE SHOULD HAVE TO, DO WHATEVER POSSIBLE TO MAKE AMENDS, MAKE IT UP TO THE VICTIM, OR RIGHT THE WRONG SHE COMMITTED.
*DOES NOT OFFER TO DO WHATEVER POSSIBLE TO UNDO THE DAMAGE DONE- SUCH AS ADMITTING TO OTHERS THAT HE TOLD THEM LIES ABOUT THE VICTIM, ETC.
*TRIES TO PRESSURE THE VICTIM INTO “FORGIVING AND FORGETTING”.
*IS UNWILLING TO SPEND TIME AND EFFORT PROVING TO THE VICTIM THAT HE CAN BE TRUSTED AGAIN OR THAT HE HAS CHANGED HIS WAYS- WANTS IMMEDIATE FORGIVENESS.
*BECOMES ANGRY, UPSET, OR TURNS IT AROUND AND PLAYS THE VICTIM IF HER APOLOGY ISN’T IMMEDIATELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY ACCEPTED- BECOMES INSULTED IF THE VICTIM WANTS SOME TIME, PROMISES OR ASSURANCES BEFORE DECIDING WHETHER TO ACCEPT THE APOLOGY OR NOT.
*PROMPTLY GIVES UP AND MAKES NO FURTHER EFFORT IF MEANINGLESS APOLOGY IS NOT ACCEPTED ON THE FIRST TRY. OFFENDER IS RELIEVED AT BEING ABLE TO TELL OTHERS “AT LEAST I TRIED” WHILE, IN REALITY, WASHING HIS HANDS OF THE WHOLE INCIDENT.
A meaningful apology, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with righting the wrong that was done. Someone who gives a meaningful apology makes it crystal clear that the feelings of the victim are her top priority. By apologizing, she is not trying to make herself look good, or to benefit herself in any other way. She is humble, truly remorseful and willing to do whatever is needed to make amends. She understands and accepts that her apology may not restore the relationship, but she is not doing it to accomplish her own purposes or to fulfill her own needs, wishes, or desires. She is doing it to help the victim heal emotionally, mentally, and spiritually from the damage and pain she inflicted with her abuse, betrayal, or offensive behavior or words. A meaningful apology given by a truly remorseful offender has these elements:
*IS GIVEN PROMPTLY AND WITHOUT WAITING FOR THE VICTIM TO “COOL OFF” OR “GET OVER IT”. Apologies that come weeks, months or even years later are far less likely to be accepted. As time passes without an apology, the victim’s hurt and anger grows because she realizes that her betrayer does not care about her or her feelings. If enough time passes for the victim to recover from and come to an acceptance of the break in the relationship, she will be less motivated to ever reconcile. She may feel that her life has been fine and she has been perfectly happy without the offender all that time, so why re-open old wounds?
*IS GIVEN IN A HUMBLE, SINCERE, HEARTFELT, AND RESPECTFUL MANNER.
*ACCEPTS COMPLETE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE OFFENSIVE WORDS OR BEHAVIOR. THE ABUSER DOES NOT TRY TO MAKE EXCUSES OR BLAME ANYONE ELSE BUT HIMSELF.
*ACKNOWLEDGES THAT WHAT HE DID WAS WRONG, AND THAT THE VICTIM WAS RIGHT TO BE UPSET.
*DOES NOT TRY TO AVOID MENTIONING HER OFFENSE-IS SPECIFIC AND EXPLICITLY APOLOGIZES FOR EXACTLY WHAT SHE DID THAT WAS WRONG. “I’M SORRY I LIED TO YOU”, “I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT CALLING YOU WHEN I KNEW YOU WERE GOING THROUGH A FAMILY CRISIS. IT WAS VERY UNCARING OF ME”, “I’M SORRY FOR NOT TAKING TURNS HOSTING THE HOLIDAYS. I ALLOWED YOU TO BE OVERWHELMED AND THAT WAS VERY INCONSIDERATE OF ME. FROM NOW I’LL TAKE TURNS WITH YOU. THIS YEAR I’LL DO BOTH CHRISTMAS AND THANKSGIVING TO MAKE UP FOR MY PAST SELFISHNESS.”
*SHOWS AN UNDERSTANDING OF AND REMORSE FOR THE PAIN HE CAUSED, THE RAMIFICATIONS OF HIS BEHAVIOR, AND HOW IT AFFECTED THE VICTIM’S LIFE.
*DOES NOT TRY TO JUSTIFY, RATIONALIZE, EXPLAIN, OR EXCUSE THE BEHAVIOR.
*REASSURES THE VICTIM THAT SHE DID NOT DESERVE TO BE TREATED HURTFULLY.
*EXPRESSES THE HIGHEST CONCERN FOR THE VICTIM’S FEELINGS AND NEEDS, WHILE ASSURING THE VICTIM THAT THE FEELINGS, NEEDS, OR DESIRES OF OTHERS, INCLUDING THE OFFENDER HIMSELF, ARE NOT THE REASON FOR THE APOLOGY, NOR SHOULD SHE CONSIDER THEM WHILE DECIDING WHETHER OR NOT TO ACCEPT THE APOLOGY.
*IS WILLING TO DISCUSS IN DETAIL THE BETRAYAL OR OFFENSE, WITHOUT BECOMING DEFENSIVE, AS OFTEN AS THE VICTIM FEELS THE NEED TO, AND TO HONESTLY AND COMPLETELY ADDRESS ANY OF HER QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS.
*ALLOWS THE VICTIM TO EXPRESS HER ANGER AND IS WILLING TO LISTEN AND CONTINUE TO BE REMORSEFUL WITHOUT ALSO BECOMING ANGRY OR DEFENSIVE.
*DOES NOT FORCE HIMSELF ON THE VICTIM BY APPROACHING HER IN A WAY SHE IS NOT COMFORTABLE WITH (FOR INSTANCE, IF SHE AVOIDS HIM OR HAS INDICATED THAT SHE WANTS NO PERSONAL CONTACT, HE MIGHT TRY A LETTER OR E-MAIL INDICATING HIS DESIRE TO APOLOGIZE AND ASKING IF SHE WOULD CONSIDER MEETING HIM AT A NEUTRAL LOCATION OF HER CHOICE , BUT HE SHOULD NOT RING HER DOORBELL OR ACCOST HER IN A STORE OR IN THE STREET.)
*TELLS THE VICTIM IN WHAT WAYS HE INTENDS TO UNDO THE DAMAGE HE DID AND HOW HE INTENDS TO MAKE RESTITUTION OR MAKE IT UP TO HER. (RETURNING THE MONEY HE STOLE, SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT IF HE HAS LIED ABOUT THE VICTIM TO OTHERS, PAYING FOR THERAPY FOR THE VICTIM, ETC.)
*PROMISES THE VICTIM THAT HE HAS CHANGED AND THAT WHAT HE SAID OR DID WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN, AND IS WILLING TO PROVE IT. UNDERSTANDS THAT HE DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE BELIEVED WITHOUT EARNING IT BY GOING INTO THERAPY OR ANGER MANAGEMENT, OR BY BEING ON HIS BEST BEHAVIOR FOR HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES FOR THE VICTIM TO FEEL COMFORTABLE THAT HE HAS MADE A PERMANENT CHANGE, EVEN IF THAT TAKES MONTHS OR YEARS.
*DOES NOTHING TO PRESSURE THE VICTIM INTO FORGIVING HIM OR ACCEPTING HIS APOLOGY.
*ASSURES THE VICTIM THAT EVEN IF SHE FORGIVES HIM, HE WOULD UNDERSTAND IF SHE DECIDED NOT TO GIVE HIM ANOTHER CHANCE BY RECONCILING THE RELATIONSHIP.
*OFFERS TO GIVE THE VICTIM AS MUCH TIME AS SHE WANTS TO THINK IT OVER.
ASKS THE VICTIM IF SHE WOULD LIKE HIM TO CONTACT HER AGAIN AFTER A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME HAS PASSED, IF SHE WOULD RATHER CALL HIM, OR IF SHE WOULD PREFER NO FURTHER CONTACT. RESPECTS HER DECISION.
Some examples of “meaningful apology” statements are:
“I am so sorry. I know I was wrong.”
“I am truly sorry for hurting you.”
“I am so sorry. I cannot believe what an idiot I was.”
“I am really sorry for lying to you. I should never have done it. I’ll never do it again.”
“I apologize for saying _______. I don’t blame you for being angry with me.”
“I apologize for breaking your confidence. I don’t blame you for not trusting me anymore. I promise I’ll never do it again, and I understand that it will take a lot of time before you believe in me again. I’m willing to wait as long as it takes. ”
“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to prove myself to you.”
“I know I hurt you deeply. I’m willing to do anything and everything I can to make it up to you.”
“I am so sorry. There is no excuse for my behavior. You have every right to be angry with me.”
“Please tell me what I can do to help you feel better. I am willing to do whatever you say.”
“I understand how much I hurt you. I don’t deserve your forgiveness. I promise to work really hard at earning your trust again, and maybe someday you’ll be able to forgive me.”
“What I did to you was terrible. I don’t expect you to forgive me. I just want to do whatever I can to make amends. Please let me make it up to you.”
So, dear Sister, beware when you recognize a meaningless apology. If you accept it without repentance, you are letting your abuser off the hook too easily, as well as depriving him of the opportunity to repent and turn his life around. If you reconcile your relationship on the basis of a meaningless apology, you are only setting yourself up for more pain in the future.
But if an apology is truly meaningful, it deserves to be considered. The offender deserves an opportunity to prove himself and repent, so that you can eventually forgive him. Do not feel guilty about taking as much time as you need to feel that you can trust the offender again, and to believe that he has truly and permanently changed his ways. Over time, his behavior will speak for itself. Although you are required by the Lord to forgive those who repent, you are not required to reconcile; however, reconciliation with a truly contrite and remorseful ex-offender has a great chance of being successful, and restoring the relationship might be the last step you need to take to finally heal your pain. With much prayer, and possibly some therapy, reconciliation with a relative who has given you a meaningful apology and shown repentance and remorse could open the door to a new and much-improved relationship in the future, and bring you much happiness and peace in your heart.
If you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands; go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hands of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler….Proverbs 6:2-5NIV
The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: When a man or a woman wrongs another in any way, and so is unfaithful to the Lord, that person is guilty and must confess the sin he has committed. He must make full restitution for his wrong, add one fifth to it and give it all to the person he has wronged…..Numbers 5: 5-7NIV
If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep….Exodus 22:1 KJV
A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft….Exodus 22:3NIV
If a fire breaks out and spreads into thornbushes so that it burns shocks of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution…Exodus 22:6NIV
The Lord said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving his neighbor about something entrusted to him or left in his care or stolen, or if he cheats him, or if he finds lost property and lies about it, or if he swears falsely, or if he commits any such sin that people may do- when he thus sins and becomes guilty, he must return what he has stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to him, or the lost property he found, or whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make restitution in full, add a fifth to the value of it and give it all to the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering. And as a penalty he must bring to the priest, that is the Lord, his guilt offering….Leviticus 6:1-6NIV
Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house…Proverbs -31NIV
If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored; if you remove wickedness far from your tent…Job 22:23NIV
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy…Proverbs 28:13NIV
If you really change your ways and deal with each other justly….then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers forever and ever….Jeremiah 7: 5,7NIV
***Being accountable for what you have done is the true test maturity and of a meaningful apology. To read what being really accountable for one's behavior means, see The 3 Rs Of Accountability: Repentance, Restitution, and Personal Responsibility.
*** Ever wonder why some people go to such preposterous lengths to avoid the words 'I'm sorry'? See Why Don't They Just Apologize?
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The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues.
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships. We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.