What do you do when you mess up? What do you do when you say the wrong thing? How about when you don’t say the right thing at the right time?
I found myself firmly planted in that last question last week. I froze and didn’t say something that needed to be said. I didn’t quite know how to respond and minutes later I began kicking myself. Do you know that feeling?
Many times people are asked to apologize for something they’ve said. I remember clearly as a kid having those moments when I needed to say something to someone I offended. “Sorry I called you a _____.” Those were pretty easy for me. I say stupid stuff, as my wife can confirm, and I learned to ask for forgiveness for those mistakes. But how often do I apologize about not saying something that I knew was needed to be said? Not a lot.
I am so glad to have a prayer of confession that we say at our Anglican church every week. It helps me bring those areas of insecurity to the Lord. It helps bring those things that I have done and left undone. The prayer goes like this:
Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;
in your compassion forgive us our sins,
known and unknown,
things done and left undone;
and so uphold us by your Spirit
that we may live and serve you in newness of life,
to the honor and glory of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Maybe you feel the need to say that prayer of confession to God. I would encourage you to do it. Do it now, not later. Do it know while the moment is present. I should have said that Jesus was the only way, that those are the words Jesus Himself said. But I became timid. I became scared. I left something undone.
Lord, have mercy on me when words are left unsaid and when words are said that should have been left out.