Last night, my family had a confusing experience at a little seafood restaurant here in Florida. Confusing, because it had great food but poor service with an annoyingly apologetic waiter.
Now, in all honesty, waiting tables probably isn’t this guy’s spiritual gift but he had mentally thrown in the towel long before he stepped up to our table. From the first word, he was apologizing for the busyness of the restaurant and the slowness with which he was going to help us. He was preparing us for the absolute that could (and eventually, would) happen. And, once, he actually approached us with these words, “Ok… So what’s wrong and what do I need to do to fix it?”
The meal was enjoyable and the experience was entertaining, as we laughed more than once at the expense of our waiter. We were chuckling about how he forgot to give our neighbors their silverware and how he seemed to agree to bring us anything before disappearing and hiding like a ninja. And one of us said something to the effect of, “I wish he wouldn’t apologize so stinkin’ much.” That’s when it hit me…
A few weeks ago, someone came to Reset for the first time and, as I was showing them around, I apologized that part of the band wasn’t there that morning. A few days ago, I was inviting someone to Reset and apologized that I wouldn’t be there the Sunday that I was inviting them to (like I make all the difference or something…). A while back, I was thanking someone for coming to Reset, while at the same time apologizing for the temperature being a little warm in the gym.
How often do we cancel out the awesomeness of what God is saying and doing by falling all over ourselves apologizing for a bunch of silliness?
How often do we leave people thinking about all the junk we apologized for instead of dreaming about the vision of what God is calling them to?
How often do people come to your church/home/job/school and think, “I just wish he wouldn’t apologize so stinkin’ much?”
Over-apologizing doesn’t help people overlook problems, it focuses them in on flaws.
Over-apologizing becomes a barrier to what God wants to do.