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Psalm 34:1, 18

Contrition comes in many guises. A bogus one is betrayed by the little word ‘if ’, for example, ‘I’m sorry if you feel so upset.’ This apology is qualified. It transfers responsibility away from the culprit and on to the victim. Instead of taking the weight of the blame the apologizer shifts the blame on to the victim for being so distressed. There’s a world of difference between ‘I’m sorry if I’ve upset you’ and ‘I’m sorry that I’ve upset you.’ The next time the word ‘sorry’ is on your lips it’s worth pausing to ask what stops you from turning the ‘if ’ into a ‘that’...

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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