You get upset about something that someone is doing. You take a picture of the proof of what you believe to be their shameful acts. Then what? You post it to social media telling people to not commit the same crime! Public declaration of how non-Christian you can be. *hides face* You screwed up. You PUBLICLY screwed up. And then someone you look up to…. CALLS YOU OUT! The embarrassment.
Last month, I made this exact mistake. I won’t go into the details because otherwise this blog post won’t be any better than my Instagram post (that has since been deleted). I was, and still am, completely mortified of how my actions reflected my character. So now that this act has been done, how do you recover?
- Give yourself grace – Christians are not perfect people. If Jesus knew we weren’t perfect in this imperfect world, why would we expect ourselves to be? Of course perfection is a goal but it’s not achievable in this fallen world.
- Recognize and adjust – What makes someone a Christian is recognizing the mistake you made and doing what you can to not make that mistake again in the future by making efforts to live your life in a way that JESUS would.
- Apologize – I felt so guilty after that happened. Since the person I posted about didn’t see it, I didn’t feel it was necessary to apologize to them but I did want to at the same time. Instead, I apologized to the person I could… my following and the friend who called me out. I made a post saying that I was sorry and that it isn’t something I normally do because it was wrong. I said that I was sorry to the friend I look up to since she shouldn’t have NEEDED to call me out. I’m glad she did but it shouldn’t have been necessary.
- Move forward – Once something is said, it really can’t be undone. You can delete your post like I did, but that doesn’t mean that those who saw it can unsee it. Instead, you move forward a better person because we can learn from our mistakes and try to prevent them in the future.
Bonus: We need to realize that as humans, we will screw up. If you think otherwise, then you might be screwing up and not being completely aware of it. Most of the time, that might happen with the words you say especially to those who you might not talk to as much. If you have the opportunity, take a second to think about if what you are about to say would make you feel a little off put if it were said to you or someone you know well. Maybe think of another way to express your thoughts. Or maybe, nothing needs to be said at all.
I hope these suggestions allow you to grow as I have or at least start the growth process. We are always going to be in a season where we need to learn something, and I am so glad that I can say that I learned something from that mistake.
COMMENT: What is something that you have learned lately that can help you become a better person and/or Christian?