Do you have to apologize when it is not your fault?


When it is not your fault and yet you know that someone has something against you, do you have to apologize? And if you apologized, but were met with quarrel and reproach, what should you do?

If it is not your fault, you have no reason to apologize

If there is a conflict then someone is guilty, and if you take the blame on yourself when it does not belong to you but in fact to someone else, by this you make the guilty person no longer see and admit his guilt in order to repent. The Bible does not teach us to apologize for sins that do not belong to us. That is why it seems that you received quarrel and reproach when you went to apologize without being guilty. The guilty person felt even more arrogant and no longer feels guilty since you apologized without guilt.

 Apologize for your fault

At the same time, it is very important to make a good analysis of the conflict in which you have been caught and see if it is your fault and then apologize for the mistakes and sins committed.

 Initiate reconciliation

Scripture teaches us always to come with the initiative of reconciliation, just as God did:

 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)(NASB)

That’s why Jesus said:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)(NASB)

Also in the famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained this happiness of being a peace-maker:

“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.”(Matthew 5:21-26)(NASB)

I want to draw your attention to some important moments in this text:

  1. Offensive words provoke anger, conflict, and resentment, and the child of God must exclude such words from his vocabulary and not offend anyone.
  2. If you have said words that have provoked anger, resentment, or conflict, seek to apologize as soon as possible. Go to that person and apologize for what you said.
  3. If we postpone apologizing, anger and conflict will increase and bring worse consequences for us, but it will also ruin our beautiful Christian testimony.

 What if you are rejected when you come with the initiative of reconciliation ?

God says:

“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17-21)(NASB)

Do everything in your power to restore peace and live in peace with the person you are in conflict with. If he has rejected any of your initiatives, do not stop praying for him or her. Never take revenge, on the contrary, whenever an opportunity arises for you to do good to that person, take advantage of that opportunity and do it, because in this way you will heap burning coals on his or her head. Heaping burning coals means awakening someone’s conscience, making them feel bad for the way they have treated you so far, and thus making them feel sorry for his / her wrong behavior.

Translated by Nicoleta Vicliuc