In the kitchen, phone pressed between ear and shoulder, I’m listening to a friend ramble on about an interaction she’d had on campus that day. I confess; I wasn’t listening with my whole head.
A text from one of my favorite people in the whole wide world buzzed through earlier stating she’d “pick us up at 4:30”.
Smack my forehead..I’d forgotten we were taking our little-sister-friends shopping.
Cue the “frantic, get ready, cook dinner moment”. Forget about writing and the several deadlines looming over my head with their ominous presence pummeling my psyche.
Uh, strung out… much ?
I hear the cheery chirp of Beth Moore’s voice admonishing how I just “can’t do 1000 things to the glory of God.” Nailed.
But I’m in it up to my elbows and eyeballs now and there’s no way out but through. Hanging up the phone, I rush through dinner prep reaching for what I thought was cornstarch and put two heaping tablespoons of baking soda in my “Classic Mac-n-Cheese”.
Immediately…impulsively…internally I reach for the “delete” key. No seriously, I actually think I’m going to “Control-Z-UNDO” the stupid mistake I just made ruining dinner. Duh?
The crowning moment came in a Facebook message from a precious person I love and respect dearly letting me know, privately, something I’d posted and commented on with great chutzpah had offended her deeply. For real? Me?!?
At first, I swear, I had no idea what she was talking about. Set to defend myself against her obvious mistake I… oh. wait. yeah.
Honestly, I didn’t make the connection at the time of the posting. I wasn’t thinking or caring one whit who my audience might be because I was entitled to my opinion and I was right, darn it! Right? I think so. Maybe?
Here’s the clincher; she loves me. I know this. She said:
“Knowing that I love you, I hope you can hear this from me. … A few days ago on Facebook you posted a link with some dialogue underneath. Your comments were very hurtful to me. I respect your opinion, but it did feel very personal. I know that was not your intention, still, I felt that having this emotion and not expressing it would be wrong.
Did I mis-read something”
Whoa. Talk about Christian maturity. (See why I love her?)
Clear to me now, I’m mortified and properly ashamed. She was right:
I‘d been callous and careless with my words.
Now, lets get this straight: haters gonna hate. Haters argue and disagree over every thing they come across. For fun. It’s their version of a “contact sport”.
Others have strong convictions and can be very intimidating, almost bully-like. The type who’ll tolerate anything as long as it lines up with what they believe.
I’ve watched a lot of people take hard hits for standing firmly but lovingly on issues of great importance. We ought not back down from places where God has told us to stand with love and grace. No-siree-Bob.
However this…was different. Way different. This wasn’t hate. It was earnest love wrought from THE source of honest Love.
Even if I thought I was right, there’s a world of difference between being right and being righteous.
As a writer and a teacher of God’s Word, I have a huge responsibility to steward my words properly and use the gifts and platform I’ve been given to bring His light and healing to every situation. Every single time, every word matters.
As one dearly beloved by God, my responsibility to others also dearly beloved is to give what I hope to receive even if I don’t: love, justice, mercy. Here, I deeply desired restoration of a potentially fractured relationship more than being or seeming right.
So I did the only thing I could; confess my wrong and apologize humbly and sincerely, without defense or excuse. (And I deleted the article!)
Her gracious response:
“(I) would not want it b/w (between) us–conflict resolution creates trust—and Satan cannot stand in the presence of honesty (truth). You are precious to me. end of story.”
At the small expense of my pride (trust me, I have PLENTY to spare!), I retained relationship with a Sister in Christ and peace of mind before God. I also learned a valuable lesson about stewardship as God graciously walked us both to the cross.
While it made me gratefully aware of how carefully I must steward my words, I was drawn also to take a good look at how I handle potential conflicts with others.
How many times have I even subtly, taken my case to the “people’s court” of Facebook or another public forum rather than going to my brother or sister in love? I’m reminded:
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
Guilty as charged but thanks to this courageous Sister and the hand of God in our friendship, while I can’t “UNDO” the mistake I made, I got a “DO OVER” and I’m a better woman for it.