I’ve had to apologize multiple times the last few weeks.
My sister is now safe and well taken care of, but I am embroiled in all the legal loose ends trying to settle every issue concerning her life and property.
don’t know much about the legal system, and that leaves me feeling vulnerable and uncertain. I don’t like that feeling It puts me in a bad mood.
Sometimes this bad mood extends beyond the legal difficulties and spills over into everyday situations. I was rude to my hair dresser last week. All day long people had been telling me “no.” Her “no” was one too many. I did apologize, but she was not impressed with my humility.
At the tax office, I waited knowing I would be late for my next appointment, while the accountant, with whom we had dealt for years, made sure my check had cleared.
“It’s okay,” she said. “It went through.”
“I could have told you that,” I muttered, as I hurried out the door. I have been honest and forthright all my life. It really irks me to be treated any other way.
When I called the local utility company, I had all the information needed to arrange for my sister’s final payment. However, I was told that I could not take care of it over the phone. Finally, in frustration, I said, “Honey, I’m not trying to steal anything. I’m trying to make sure you get your money.”
As required, I did go to the office. A sweet lady said to me, “I see you tried to take care of this by phone.”
“Yes,” I replied. “I’m afraid I wasn’t very kind. I’m sorry.”
“Oh, it’s all here on the record,” she said.
I left the office realizing that the spoken word is never completely erased. It will hang around somewhere in the universe forever. In fact scientists tell us that every word ever spoken throughout time still hangs in the atmosphere, and one day, they will be able to retrieve those words, and we will hear, for example, the voice of Abraham Lincoln as he delivered the Gettysburg Address.
Now, that is amazing. That is exciting. Less exciting is the prospect that someone, centuries from now, might be able to hear the hateful words I have spouted during this stressful time.
I can make all kinds of excuses for my bad behavior. I have been dealing with my sister’s situation for months. I am weary down to the bone. This is not working. That is not working. I am stressed out!
None of these excuses suffice, however, and saying “I’m sorry” is not enough for the sharp words have already wounded—they have already offended.
Saying “I’m sorry” is difficult for many, because it is an admission of wrong doing. Others wave off an offense with a casual “Sorry” without any real remorse.
When I apologize, I do mean it, but at the same time I am aware that the hurt has not necessarily been expunged.
In Psalm 19:14, King David prays, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
This must be my first consideration. What does God think about this? Is this acceptable to Him?
My words are the product of my thoughts. Those stinging barbs are birthed by my thoughts long before they are given voice. I must guard my thoughts.
Philippians 4:8 instructs us, “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
I guarantee you. If you fill your mind with those wondrous things, there will be little space for anything else.
David ends his prayer in Psalm 19:14, by addressing God as his strength and his Redeemer.
He is our strength. There is no way, on my own, to measure up to God’s requirements, but He is my strength. I can do all things through Him. He is my Redeemer. He has bought me with the price of His own Son. My greatest desire is to honor him by what I think, the words I speak and the things I do.
The apostle Paul tells us to think like Jesus thinks. Remember—
The sun will come out tomorrow!