Have you ever done something and later regretted it? Lately there have been a couple times the minute words left my lips, I wish I could have sucked them back in before they reached the recipients’ ears. Once when I was in the middle of saying something, I could sense my brain telling my lips to stop, but they just kept rambling on and on. It was like I had to get these unnecessary words out no matter what.

But then something annoying started to happen. I walked away and noticed this nagging sense of guilt. It consumed me. I couldn’t focus on anything else until I apologized to that dear friend. I couldn’t move on until it was rectified. Oddly enough, when I apologized on two different occasions (two different people), they didn’t receive my words the way I thought they did. One said the message received was the message I was trying to communicate. But I thought my fumbling words were distorting the message, like the childhood game of “Telephone,” the end message coming out of my mouth was not the beginning message from my heart.

With these two instances, I think it would be safe to say that I am a good communicator and I am, indeed, getting my message across, so the next time I feel this nagging feeling, I can just ignore it. But I don’t want to, and I shouldn’t ignore it. What if my emotions get involved and I seriously distort things and my words truly hurt someone? Or what if later I realized the words I communicated were exactly what I wanted to say, but later realized they benefit no one?

This nagging made me think of some verses in Matthew 5. “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift” (23-24). How can I come before the Lord knowing there is the possibility I have wronged my brother or sister? And if I did, I pray they show me grace (that I don’t deserve).

So, I’m grateful for that nagging annoyance that consumes me, because it forces me to move to rectify the situation. It nudges me in the direction to be more like Christ.

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