How To Admit You’re Wrong Like A Man


One of the ways that a man fulfills his God-given calling to take responsibility, is by accepting responsibility for any wrongs he’s committed.  The sinful nature avoids accepting responsibility for wrong done.  We see this when Adam blamed Eve and God for his sin.

A real man doesn’t make excuses.  He takes responsibility.

The following are four things I teach my sons to do when admitting they are wrong:

1. Be Sorrowful In A Godly Way

The bible teaches that Godly sorrow produces earnestness, eagerness to clear yourselves, indignation, alarm, longing, concern, and readiness to see justice done, bringing repentance while leaving no regret (2 Cor 7:10-11 NIV).

A lot of times a boy is sorrowful because he got caught or because he’s going to be disciplined or punished.  A man is sorrowful because he sinned against God and because of the pain or hardship he has caused others.

Genuine godly sorrow leads to a genuine apology and genuine repentance.  If you’ve done something wrong, say you’re sorry, apologize, and repent.

2. Be Specific

Being vague about a sin committed is a form of avoiding responsibility.  You can’t be held responsible for something if it’s unclear what you’ve done.

Saying you’re sorry or apologizing isn’t enough.  What are you sorry for?

Don’t hide behind an apology.  Be a man and admit what you did. Be specific.

3. Call It Wrong. Call It Sin.

Human nature loves to justify behavior and we love to tell ourselves that what we did wasn’t that bad. If you call it anything other than wrong or sin, you are avoiding responsibility.

Call it like it is.  What you did was wrong.  What you did was sin.  Don’t sugar coat it.  Don’t tiptoe around it.  Take it head on.  Take it like a man.

4. Ask For Forgiveness

A common response to an apology is “it’s OK”.

But that’s not true.  It’s not OK.

If what was done was wrong, if what was done was sin, then what was done needs to be forgiven.

If you’ve wronged someone, then ask them for forgiveness.  And if they tell you it’s OK, tell them that it’s not OK and then ask them again to forgive you.

A man makes it right.  A man asks for forgiveness.

When you’re wrong, do you admit you’re wrong like a man?

(Image Credit: The Library of Congress)

About Josh Christophersen

Josh is a software engineer, church planter, and blogger with a passion for helping people do their life well. He lives in KC with his wife and 7 kids.

2 Replies

  1. Michael

    Thanks josh, this was good. In point 1, I would add that godly sorrow would lead to repentance as the 2 cor verse mentions. Turning away from the sin, not just an apology

  2. Excellent point Michael. I updated the post. Thanks.

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