“I was wrong.” Three words that are powerful, yet so often overlooked.
Recently, I said those words to someone. I was wrong and I freely admitted it. On the other hand, I have also withheld those words when I felt like I wasn’t wrong or I wanted to keep the upper hand in a situation. Many times, we withhold those words because we feel like we weren’t wrong, or because we don’t want to admit our shortcomings to someone else. So why should we admit to something we didn’t even do? What do you do when you are wrong and need to make a comeback?
Many of us are familiar with John 3:16 that tells us that God so loved the world that he gave his son to die for us, as well as Mark 12:31 that tells us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. I want to include you on a journey of love that I have been on for a number of years. Take a moment to sit down and allow God to open your heart to some thoughts on the way He loves us and the way we have the opportunity to love others.
Often times when we think of love, we think of the gushy feelings we get when we are dating someone … we are “in love” (insert hearts and rainbows flinging from your eyeballs and batting eyelashes). We often hear love is “messy” (insert a mud pit and you are covered in all manner of dirt and grime because you have been in the trenches of life with someone). Then we hear the love chapter from Corinthians (insert feelings of “Wow, I can’t do all that because are we really always patient and kind?”). I have thought of love in all these ways, but recently I have started to think of love in a completely different way: the way Jesus loved on the cross.
So let’s be real for a minute. If anyone needs to say “I was wrong”, it isn’t Jesus. Yet, a love so powerful took Him to the cross because of all the times we would need to say “I was wrong.” I began to look at John 3:16 and Mark 12:31 and I realized that those words of “love” are both words given to the Christian community. That word literally means a love that is so powerful that it denotes an unconquerable benevolence and an undefeatable goodwill. What? That is powerful! It is a quality love that is full of well meaning, kindness, friendliness, helpfulness, and cooperation.
Jesus empowered us to walk in an undefeatable love toward others. I have been pondering on why we have such a love problem in our society today (and yes, Christians, I am talking to you as well). I think one of the reasons is because we do not have a full understanding on how to receive love and how to give love.
When we are hurt by someone, we often respond out of offense or rejection. We push someone away or get angry with them. We say we love them from a distance so we can “say” we are fulfilling our Christian duty, but if they sat next to us in church we would squirm the entire time because we love with conditions. We can’t see beyond an infraction to offer unconditional and undefeatable well meaning, kindness and help. We can’t see beyond ourselves to cooperate with one another to talk things through. Instead, we run and never admit we were wrong.
I have seen countless numbers of people ruin relationships, leave churches, and even divorce because we don’t walk in God’s love for others, but rather walk in love based on conditions and limitations. So how do we make our comeback when this happens in our life? We make our comeback by speaking to ourselves, to God, and to others that we were wrong: we were wrong to withhold love that God empowered us to walk in. When we are willing to admit that we were not walking in well-meaning kindness and a willingness to cooperate, we open the door for kindness and cooperation to be re-established. Never sacrifice relationships at the altar of “being right.”
I want to encourage you today, to ask God to give you an increased revelation of His love and the ability to walk in love and forgiveness toward others. Don’t be afraid to say you were wrong when you were not walking in love (or when someone perceived you were not walking in love). Love empowers us to live in the fullness of all that God has for us – By His love He gave, so let’s not withhold!