I was wrong.
I am sorry.
Six simple words.
Two basic phrases.
Why are they so hard to say? Why is it so hard to admit when we’re wrong? Why is saying “I’m sorry” so difficult?
I’d venture that 95% of it is pride, plain and simple.
Or maybe it’s just me?
Because y’all these words, these phrases, are HARD for me.
If you read my last post, Pride and Destruction, then you know I know (that’s a mouthful) how dangerous pride is, but at the same time, I think it’s a constant battle that most of us face. And it’s only through the power of the Holy Spirit that any of us are ever going to win that battle.
Three things I’m learning about being wrong and apologizing . . . about not letting pride win.
First, we can be totally right and still be very wrong. We can have the right moral stance, yet have the wrong attitude. Our outward actions can look so good . . . so pious . . . while our hearts and our motives are anything but.
Second, just because something is different doesn’t make it wrong. I know that one is so obvious, but it’s ironic how often we pass judgment on things that just don’t matter. Yes, there are moral absolutes. But a lot of times we go to battle over differences of opinion, over preferences, that have absolutely no moral implications.
Third, a lot of times the faults we see in others (both in our day-to-day personal lives and in society as a whole) are also issues we struggle with personally. Not so much when it comes to black and white, right and wrong, issues, but more when it comes to opinions, pervasive attitudes, and character flaws. We can see those flaws . . . that person is too picky, rude, selfish, judgmental, easily offended, argumentative, the list goes on . . . as clear as day in those around us, but we are blind to it in ourselves. In short, we tend to be hypocrital, to say the least.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5
In case you were wondering, those words are in red . . . straight out of the mouth of Jesus.
A lot of times we throw around two parts of this, “judge not lest you be judged” and “remove the plank from your own eye”. But we really have to take the passage as a whole. We do not judge by our own standards. We do judge by the standard set by the word of God, but before we can do any of that, it starts with ourselves. We first have to do the work on our own hearts, our own attitudes, and in our own lives. Then we can help others not from a place of judgment and self righteousness, but from a place of love and grace and mercy.
It starts with admitting that sometimes we’re wrong and sometimes we need to just say the words, “I’m sorry”. No matter how hard that might be.
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