When you realize you've made a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.
The warm weather has taken it's toll all around me. My flower garden is a sad tangle of dirt and shriveling plants. My lawn is turning brown and the barn cats are hiding in some cool dark corner of the barn. But the worst casualty of the heat and humidity has been the tempers of the human residents here on the farm.
Everyone seems to be on edge. Seemingly innocuous statements are getting taken the wrong way. Snide remarks are commonplace and simple comments are getting blown all out of proportion. I'd like to say I haven't been a part of it, but sadly I have not been at my best. I've heard the words coming out of my mouth and I cringed. I know I shouldn't have said them, but somehow I justified them by thinking I was just responding to the harsh words that had been spoken to me. I knew I should be the "bigger person" and stop the nonsense, but I just couldn't seem to let it go. I was weak.
To be honest, I didn't like who I was becoming. I asked God to help me change, but I wasn't really making a real attempt to do anything on my own. I knew I'd have to start with saying I'm sorry, and I just couldn't make myself do that. As you may have guessed, however, God wasn't going to let me off that easy.
Yesterday I received a daily devotion/inspirational email in my inbox. It was about letting go of past hurts. It said that God calls us to release our need to control things ... to love unconditionally (and here was the kicker) and to forgive freely. As I read those words, I could almost feel something start to change within me. It was as if the chains on my heart that had been preventing me from "eating crow" began to be released.
I can't lie, it wasn't easy but eventually I told the one I'd hurt that I was sorry. I swallowed my pride and humbled myself. I did it without expecting an apology in return (even though I was blessed to get one). I did it freely and most importantly I did it without excuses.
Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
Thank you, God for not letting me off easy. Once again I am humbled by Your blessing.