by Carlin Tiano
Read Numbers 5:6
I’ve messed up and said the wrong thing a handful – OK, hundreds of times. Like when I told my grandma, “That’s the best ugly Christmas sweater I’ve ever seen!” The problem was it wasn’t an “ugly” Christmas sweater. We’ve all had those moments; we’ve put our foot in our mouths. Horrified we wonder how we could have possibly let them slip. In James 3:3-6 the Bible tells us- though small, the tongue is powerful. If controlling it seems hard, that’s because it is.
With an example like that it’s easy to figure out who owes the apology, but what about lost trust, senseless gossip, or broken promises? It’s far easier to direct the blame anywhere besides our general direction. How do we provide resolution to a relationship damaged by words? We must learn to take our foot out of our mouth, so that we can use our words to form an apology. Just like I had to with my grandma.
When we apologize we are doing two things:
- Owning it! – We recognize our wrong doing and take responsibility for it.
- Producing an opportunity to heal! – For all involved.
A sincere apology is always difficult. You may not be forgiven. However, if we are the wrongdoer, we have the power to begin to make right our wrong decisions. In Numbers 5:6 the Lord says, “Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed…”
If we never learn to use our words to admit when we are wrong, we’ll never have the opportunity to right them.
Challenge: Apologize, take your foot out of your mouth.
When was the last time you put your foot in your mouth? Who in your life needs to hear an apology from you? If a name came to mind, it’s time to use your words to apologize.