By Caitlin Choveaux
"Never ruin an apology with an excuse", Benjamin Franklin once said.
Sometimes it is hard to say sorry, especially if you don't feel like you have done anything wrong. Even if you know it was your fault, admitting it requires true humility.
Many Australian's will remember back in 2008 when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addressed Parliament and the frenzied media calmly, explaining the need "to remove a great stain from the nation's soul" through a public apology and move to reconciliation.
In his speech Mr Rudd became the first Prime Minister to recognise and apologise for the mistreatment of Indigenous people during the 20th century.
Particular emphasis was placed on the ' Stolen Generation' and past Government policies that saw Aboriginal children forcefully removed from their families to be integrated into white society.
National Sorry Day on May 26 commemorates this grievous mistreatment, reminding all Australians of the injustice and racism that stems from pride and ignorance.
Deeper than National Sorry Day, some Australians may be surprised to find another stain that affects us all regardless of background or skin colour, something yet to be addressed.
God once cried out to the people of Israel saying, "If my people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land [2 Chronicles 7:14]."
This is the same message He tries to communicate to us today through Jesus Christ.
American actor John Wayne once said apologising was a sign of weakness. I disagree. An apology demonstrates that you value others' feelings more than your own ego.
Jesus left the riches of heaven to be born in a lowly manger, became a carpenter and teacher on earth and then suffered a criminal's death on a cross, even though He was without fault, to mend our relationship with God. If that does not scream sincerity of heart then nothing will convince you.
As 1 John chapter 1, verse 8 to 10, points out, if we claim we have no sin in our lives, we are only fooling ourselves and are calling God a liar..."but if we confess our sins to God, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness."
We need to stop ignoring the truth of the matter. Don't wait until it is too late before you acknowledge your own sin, and get right with God by telling Him you are sorry for the wrong things you have done.