Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! (Ps. 51:1-2) He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
     Loving Father, few things are as attractive as genuine humility. It’s like a five-course meal in a five-star bistro. When someone offers a contrite heart, takes responsibility for their failure, acknowledges the impact of their choice, asks to be forgiven, and seeks to make restitution—there’s no restaurant on the face of the earth that can offer up more exquisite cuisine.
     Yet, Lord, when it comes to asking for forgiveness, too often we’re like short-order cooks in a fast-food drive through. We say things like, “I’m sorry, but you took what I said all wrong.” “I’m sorry, but if you weren’t so sensitive, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.” “I’m sorry, but if you understood what my last couple of weeks were like, you’d cut me some slack.” “I’m sorry, but you know what kind of home I grew up in. I didn’t get the ‘relationship chip.'” “I’m sorry, but that’s just your reality.”
     Making King David’s words my own, I ask you to have mercy on me, Lord. May your unfailing love and great compassion free me from all “I’m sorry, buts.” It’s never about saving face, but saving grace. Instead, I want to offer more of these words of genuine repentance from a gospel-humbled heart:
     ”Will you please forgive me?” “I can see I really hurt you. What do you need from me?” “Tell me more about how my words and actions made you feel.” “I’m genuinely sorry and I offer no qualifiers, just an apology.”
     I know that in Jesus, all of my sins have already been forgiven—past, present, and future; sins of thought, word, and deed. May such good make it increasingly easier for me to humble myself and ask forgiveness of others, and increasingly difficult for me to remain oblivious to how I impact others. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.
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One thought on “A Prayer for Apologizing without the “But’s””

  1. Mary says:

    I don’t know if you get much feedback about your daily devotions, but please continue to write them. They inspire, challenge and turn my mind and heart towards God every morning. Thank you

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Scotty Smith


Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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