We’ve all had that sinking feeling: “Oh, shoot, I messed that up!” You know that ache in your heart, the internal questions. What are they thinking? How do I make this up? You’ve probably wondered if there’s a way to just get out of it without having to apologize and admit you were wrong.
Walking in right relationship with others is tough. But it’s also crucial. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned as I’ve grown in following Jesus and loving others well.
Face To Face
Our generation lives on social media, even when it comes to dealing with our problems. We need to be able to talk to somebody face to face and ask for forgiveness. It’s not a fun thing to do, but it shows how much more you care about the person. Don’t forget that humbling experiences, though uncomfortable, tend to produce the greatest fruit in our lives.
So many times when we fail and hurt others, we don’t realize that we need to ask God for forgiveness, too. We tend to sit in the past and keep thinking about how we’ve messed up. When we dwell on our sin and don’t accept the Lord’s forgiveness and grace, we are inviting the enemy to come in and speak lies of shame and condemnation.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19
Learning From Your Past
After I’ve blown it, all I want to do is forget about it. I try to brush it under the rug and never think of it again. But it’s important that we consider the things that the Lord is trying to teach us through that situation, regardless of how painful it may be to think about. Allowing God to teach us through our mistakes sets us up to respond in a godly way the next time that situation comes around.
Don’t Delay Obedience/ Unity Is The Goal
Once you’ve blown it and you know what it is you’ve done wrong, don’t wait to make it right. Embrace the awkwardness of asking someone if you can talk to them privately – don’t delay! All waiting does is build up even more tension, and avoiding the person or the problem often turns a small thing into a much bigger one. And isn’t it fear and pride that motivate us to avoid someone? We are all called to live in unity; when we allow broken relationships to remain, we aren’t being the loving family God has called us to be.
Humility is foundational to making things right. It’s humility that allows you to actually learn from your mistake. It’s humility that softens your heart so the Lord can teach you. And it’s humility that helps you acknowledge you were wrong in the first place.
Humility helps bring about reconciliation. While you can never guarantee how someone will respond to you, chances are they’ll be more receptive to hearing what you have to say if they can tell that you’re coming to them with a humble heart.
It says in Proverbs 11:2, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” I don’t know about you, but when I choose pride over humility, I usually feel disgrace and shame. But when we choose to act in the opposite spirit, even if we are the ones who made the mistake, we gain wisdom and understanding.
As children of God, we’ve been called to walk in right relationship with one another. There will be times when we are uncertain how to do that, but even when that happens, we have to remember that there is always grace, wisdom, and discernment from Jesus. As we continue walking with the Lord, I think it’s important we continue to examine our hearts. When we choose to be in right relationship with the people around us, we’re choosing to love people the way Jesus loves them.
From being in charge of logistics to staffing our winter Discipleship Training School, Ian Grant does everything with passion and excellence. His relationship with God runs deep and his life blesses our YWAM Family greatly.