Be THAT Person Others Wish They Were | Have You Made a Mess and Don’t Know How To Fix It? | This Journey Through Life
I messed up.
According to the Bible, God’s Word, I messed up. I did wrong. I sinned.
We all sin. Both unknowingly and on purpose.
If I were to survey 100 Americans on the street about what I did, probably 95 or more would not consider what I did as messing up at all. Just part of life, they’d say. They probably even have done what I did.
“Everyone does it.” So, what?
I am not telling you this because I need to confess and feel better about it.
I did that – to God, and to my very conservative church family (at the time).
I asked for forgiveness and received it. From all who were there, except one man (let’s call him Righteous Guy) who apparently had put me on a pedestal (bad move – people tend to fall off those pedestals, leaving those who put them there disappointed, hurt, and possibly angry).
Many of the church people came up to me afterward to express grace, and some to privately relay skeletons in their own closets as if trying to comfort me, or maybe finally relieve themselves of a burden and confess to someone who would have compassion on them. Righteous Guy? Expressed his disappointment in me (those pedestals, though!).
As for me? I confessed:
- To God.
I needed to destroy the wall I had built up between us with what I had done, and heal my damaged relationship with Him.
- To my church.
Was I afraid? Yes. Was I ashamed? YES.
However, it was necessary to confess to them. My actions went against what we, as a united family for Jesus, stood for. We stood for living by the teachings of the Bible, with a true and pure walk in this life on earth.
What did I do that was so wrong? Are you waiting on the edge of your seat?
I’m going to leave the specifics out. What I did is not as important as the lesson. I give you a glimpse of my personal real-life experience so that you know that my words are not just, “do as I say”.
So many people do something that they say they are against. We become hypocrites and we don’t even realize it.
We slowly get lured away from what we thought was our conviction and strong position about something.
The person does what she thought (or said, even) she would never have ever done. When the hypocrisy is discovered, many times her response is one of self-defense, justification, and pride, rather than humility and apology.
She leaves destruction (of relationships) and damaged emotions in her wake.
She walks away from this destruction, leaving other people hanging, also leaving others to clean up her mess.
The now-hypocrite may move away, or switch churches. She may even stop coming altogether.
This leaves the wound wide open.
Friend? Time DOES NOT heal all wounds.
Healing comes from confession, forgiveness, and restoration of the relationships. Restoration includes time to build trust again. It takes all parties to help the healing process.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
~ Matthew 5:23-24
All these years later, I have no shame seeing any of them, except some unfounded shame (which I try to hide) when I see Righteous Guy who put me on the pedestal. I am sure people remember my screw-up, but they also remember that I made the effort to restore my relationship with my church family.
Have you wounded a relationship?
Take that step towards healing. Listen to God. Spend time in His Word, and then do what He tells you is your next step.
Obedience (especially after messing up) is hard. It’s also very freeing.
Let’s not live our lives in defense mode. Or with a bunch of wounded people in our wake, while we emotionally sweep it under the rug.
Live in freedom, my friends. You will soon get through the difficult part, and your actions will allow you to sleep in peace at night.
When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
~ Proverbs 16:7