I was wrong …
The twists and turns of life bring us to places that demand a response and sometimes our reaction is more like a stumble than a graceful waltz. My dance through life has been met by betrayal, many times leading to a fall, but most recently the fall was mine.
Have you ever felt betrayed or offended by what someone did to you or to someone you love?
I mean to the point of holding on to an offense while continuing to forgive – is that even possible? – yet without ever getting up the courage to go to the person or people who, in your mind, are the offenders and asking for clarification on the circumstance?
Well, that has been my life for the last 6 months, and it has not only been a lonely place, but a place I actually put myself, allowing the enemy to lead me into isolation, keeping anyone and everyone in my church family at arm’s length.
Good sense makes one slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Prov. 19:11
I did neither. I was not slow to anger nor did I overlook the offense. And I did not take my offense to those who I felt were responsible. I said out loud that my choice was to forgive them, and said I refused to go to bed angry, and thus give the enemy a foothold.
“In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Eph. 4:26-27
But here’s the deal…
I didn’t back up my words with action in agreement with Ephesians 4. I said it, but I continued to hold onto the offense in my heart, thus allowing the enemy to cause division with my words. People, I’m a pastor’s wife! Ummmm…not good for me to allow the enemy this kind of access.
I’ve referred to the church merger turning to betrayal, hostility, and a host of other things. My tongue did not bring healing because I was still wounded from my own past of church hurt. And that, my friends, was sinful. Those rash words hurt those who were committed to the bride of Christ on the Plateau in the name of Plateau Community Church.
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov.12:18 ESV
I was wrong and I’m admitting it publicly because much of what I wrote about the situation was public.
There was no betrayal or hostility as I was missing a lot of the backstory resulting in jumping to many unhealthy conclusions. I wonder how often we stop short of the godly repentance process because we don’t want to ask questions. Yet, once we realize we’ve been wrong, we don’t want to embarrass ourselves with a public apology or a personal humbling admittance to our own failure with those we’ve hurt with our words.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
I am grateful for the forgiveness I was extended and the opportunity to be the encourager God created me to be, with my written and spoken words, both locally and across the country.
So, as I reflect on how I stumbled through this situation I am thankful that it has become part of my dance for it will be a lesson to guide me to learn the beauty of a graceful waltz the next time I feel offended.
The next time you feel offended or betrayed, before you allow any rash words to escape your lips (or in my case, flow through my fingers onto the keyboard), ask God to purify your heart, and then ask the offender directly, with as much grace as you can muster, “did you really mean to say (or do) …..?” Have the courage to start the conversation so that God can rush in with His peace and bring reconciliation before it goes too far.
Thanks for your grace and for spending time with me today!
Welcome, I'm Athena!
I start each day by tithing the first hour to the Lord in prayer, reading the word, doing word studies of the Text, and asking God how I can live out what I am reading. This time is usually met with meditation on devotionals that are usually written by dead guys like Oswald Chambers, CS Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, AW Tozer, and Andrew Murray.
Right now, I’m reading a daily devotional with a friend called Tozer on the Almighty God for my focus for the day. It's fun to see individually what pulls us in to spur one another on to good deeds!
The Bible is filled with action steps to walk out in practical and intentional ways. This sets my day in motion to walk it out! I hope this is your heart, too.
Consider this a personal invitation to join me in this journey!