"I messed up." "I blew it." "My bad." And the ultimate? (gulp) "I was wrong." Why are these words so hard to say?
I don't know about you, but in the midst of some absolutely wonderful family memories this past holiday season I had plenty of opportunities to use one of these lines. Take your pick.
The day after Christmas, I developed an excruciating headache that forced me to retreat to a dimly lit room with minimal stiumuli. I longed to be with my family (especially my college sons who were only here for a limited number of days), but I simply coudn't tolerate the noise. So they each graciously obliged and left me alone. Yet, as soon as they did, you guessed it: I felt neglected and abandoned! Within minutes I unfairly snapped at Steve, accusing him of deserting me in my hour of need. (I know...go figure.) With the light of a new day, it was abundantly clear to me that I had been wrong and proceeded to make things right.
My arrogance pops up in silly things as well: I'll steadfastly argue that the coffee shop is on the right side of the street only to discover it's on the left, so I defensively retort, "Well, I was coming from the other direction last time!" Or I earnestly deny that I misplaced the checkbook, only to discover it in my purse later that evening. Time to add a few more responses to my growing repertoire: "I'm sorry. You were right. I goofed."
My heartfelt prayer for 2013 is that I'll be teachable in this area. Reading through Scripture again today illuminates both the warning and the blessings of this trait:
"The Lord opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." I Peter 5:5
"Rebuke a wise man and he will love you." Prov. 9:8
"He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a comand is rewarded." Prov. 13:13
"He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding." Prov. 15:31-32
A friend of mine recently posted this Biblical truth on her Facebook page and I was instantly convicted of it's reality in my own life: "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst." True. And yet my heart leapt as my eyes fell upon this everlasting truth at the end: "But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life." I Timothy 1:15-16
Oh my! Only a Savior as compassionate as ours would be able to turn the depths of my sin into ultimate redemption for another eternal soul. Praise be to Him who gives us the victory!
Throughout 2013 let's bask in a new-found understanding of this truth.