The Fine Art of Being Sorry

We’re very good at being sorry. We’re not so good at being repentant.

Wait a minute—aren’t those the same? Not necessarily.

You can be “sorry” for a lot of things, and it’s all too easy to make your “I’m sorry” statement sound petulant or forced, as if you don’t really mean it. Genuine repentance takes stock of one’s heart and actions, acknowledges when there is sin, and does more than a simple “I’m sorry” in response. Repentance leads to a changed heart and different actions.

Politicians aren’t the only people who excel in the “being sorry” category, but they stand out because they are more prominent. At the moment, the most prominent of them all in this category is Hillary Clinton.

She seems shell-shocked that she actually is being held accountable for her actions—specifically, her use of a private server for all her e-mails while she was secretary of state.

Her claim that she never had any classified information pass through that server has proved laughable. Even the State Department, which has every reason to cover for her (and does so whenever it can) has made it clear that many of those e-mails contained classified information.

Of course, Hillary says she was not aware of the nature of some of those e-mails. If that were true, why was she in this most sensitive cabinet post in the first place? Someone who can’t tell the difference between classified and unclassified information is unqualified for that job.

Can't Tell

I don’t buy her explanation at all. She knows what is classified. She simply lied.

When caught in a lie, especially one as egregious as this one, only a true repentance can make things right. Yet what do we get? One tortured semi-apology after another, none of which gets to the heart of the matter, and some of which seem to cast blame on others instead:

Hillary Apology

It’s all so superficial and unreal that even those who want to support her are shaking their heads. Meanwhile, she thinks she has handled it well.

Happy Now

If she ever were to agree to a polygraph, what would it reveal?


By the way, it’s easy to poke fun at those in high places for their hypocrisy and lack of remorse, but the Lord also wants each of us to put ourselves under His spotlight. Do we resort to the “I’m sorry” routine also? Do we fall back on grudging apologies that are no apologies at all?

True repentance is needed not only at the highest levels of government but in our own lives as well. A national repentance—from the bottom up, perhaps—may be our only hope.