A Thought on Apologizing

Based on the start to the Ohio State – Michigan game last Saturday, I had a feeling the day could get interesting.

Ohio State’s Marcus Hall added to the festivities by pulling off one of the rarest feats in sports – the double-bird flashed in the opponent’s stadium.

[Unfortunately, I am in this small club of bird-flickers.  Long story, don’t ask.]

Of course, later, Hall would issue an apology:


Obviously, it’s a good idea to apologize, but I do want to nit pick one little part of the apology:

“My actions do not reflect who I am as a person and a teammate.”

Um, yes they do, bro, because our actions do define how the world sees us.  I know, because I write this as someone who has goofed up a lot.  We may have the best intentions in the world, but what we do obviously begins to describe who we are.

I would suggest one small change to the apology…

“My actions do not reflect who I want to be as a person and a teammate.”

We mess up.  We do stupid things.  We let the heat of the moment get to us.  In Hall’s case, I completely understand.  He was just pulled out of a gang fight.  It’s understandable that his emotions are running high and he’s exiting the field most likely to a chorus of folks cursing him.

Obviously, it’s a lot better to not do the stupid things.  I’m not making an excuse for that.  He was disqualified for fighting and his lack of self-control cost his team.

One final note, when we mess up, we should do our best to make things right.  We apologize.  We try to restore the injured.  Our actions then should show that we really are sorry.  But then we move on.  The world defines us by our actions and the world may not forgive our actions.  That’s part of the consequence of messing up.  And that’s also part of learning that the world doesn’t define who we are.

For followers of Jesus Christ, our identity is found in Him – even though the world may judge us and even though we may have to live with consequences.

Just something to think about.