Saturday, October 9, 2010

Finding Freedom in Being Wrong

Have you ever had an epiphany? A moment when shocking truths rained down upon you with such unbelievable clarity that you were literally left stunned and humbled by it? I have ... recently ... and it was both painful and freeing.

You see a few years ago, I learned a valuable lesson about gossip and talking about others. I got it in my head. I knew that it was wrong. I knew that God did not approve of it. I vowed to not do it. I even was lead to undertake an amazing journey of purposefully building other people up. BUT I didn't really get it ... until recently when I became the victim of gossip. Someone I know talked about me behind my back, and I found out about it. I was crushed, my feelings were battered, and I have had a really difficult time trusting her now. Her words against me were so powerful, but they also brought with them a powerful lesson. For in the midst of my hurt, God spoke to my heart saying, "This is how it felt when you did the same thing to your friend."

I was shocked, for in that moment I realized that my head knowledge about gossip had not changed my heart's understanding of it ... had not brought about repentance from it. You see, although I had learned that Gossip was wrong, I was still carrying with me justifications for why I had done what I had done... rational, believable reasons that had become like truth to me ... and although I had changed, I had not repented. I had not ever come to the end of myself and owned being wrong, but, in that moment God unveiled my eyes ... and I saw all my justifications fall away ... leaving an unmistakable truth ... I was 100% wrong.

For in my hurt, I knew that there was nothing that would justify my hurting someone else the way that I had been hurt. In that moment, my friend's face was woven into my pain ... in that moment, God showed me how badly I had hurt her ... and I for the first time took ownership of that truth in my heart. I was wrong. I was wrong, and I had never really admitted it fully with no excuses. I was wrong, and was in bondage to the lies I had told myself to justify it. I was wrong, and had never been able to seek true forgiveness because I could not see that there was more to be forgiven for. In that moment, I took my sin to my Father's feet and I cried out to Him from my heart and asked for forgiveness. I offered up not one excuse, and the most amazing thing happened. In embracing being wrong, I found peace and freedom and realized that it was in admitting being wrong that I found God's mercy, and healing.

A few weeks out, and I can't help but wonder how many times we do this. I keep asking myself how many times we try to hide our Sin, just like Adam and Eve tried to cloak their nakedness (and sin) in the garden when God came to call upon them. I keep wondering how often do we do such a great job of justifying what ever it is that we are doing, that we no longer recognize it as sin. I think it is probably more often than we would like to think. We need to make a point of asking the Lord to search us and know us ... to examine our hearts and bring to light any impure or sinful actions, thoughts, or words that we might really lay them down ... to illuminate any sin that we have too grown comfortable with ... and make it once again painful that we might recognize it for what it is and repent.

So what happened to me in all this? I found an amazing freedom, freedom from a sin I did not even recognize to be unresolved. I repented, and sought forgiveness. I found peace in the pain of learning, and I finally understand the depths of the damage that speaking unedifying words about others can do. I recognize it fully for the deceiving destroyer that it is, and will stand against it whenever it comes calling. I found freedom in being wrong.