Have you ever noticed that the Hebrew and Greek equivalent of our notion of ‘I’m sorry, I apologize’ is nowhere to be found in Scripture? Or that you’ve never noticed any story in the Bible that features some character or other going to someone and saying ‘I’m sorry I did that’? That’s because ‘apologizing’ is meaningless. It changes nothing, it effects nothing, and it restores nothing.
Instead, Scripture calls us to repentance, which isn’t a mere feeling of sadness for some wrong done but an actual change of behavior.
If people change their behavior after they’ve done a wrong, then they’ve done the right thing. But if they merely utter a few words and then continue to behave the same way as before, they’ve not done a single meaningful thing.
Any sorrow that doesn’t lead to real repentance is false. No matter how much the wrongdoer may sound off with words like ‘I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to, I apologize’. If you are really sad that you’ve hurt someone, change your behavior and don’t do it again. Otherwise, you haven’t repented at all and you aren’t even really sorry.