I lacked grace. Mercy was nowhere in sight. Instead, I chose to be headstrong, stubborn, and consumed with my own judgements. I was right, my friend knew it, and I certainly knew. In the heat of the moment, I was hell bent on making sure my thoughts were heard. Truth needed to be spoken, right?
Yet, I sounded like nothing more than a clanging cymbal because I lacked love (1 Corinthians 13:1).
As I focused solely on being right, I lost sight of the person standing before me. I diminished her situation, her struggle. I diminished her as I hurled my words at her. Negating the reason she had approached me, the reason the conversation began, I became wrapped in my own knowledge and insights. I puffed myself up to the point I nearly imploded. There she sat in front of me, wincing as I rubbed salt into her already wounded heart.
I can prophecy and move mountains with my faith, but am nothing without love (1 Corinthians 13:2).
While nearly breaking my arm patting myself on the back with how accurate my rebuttal was, I finally paused to look at my friend. Her head hung down. Her shoulders hunched forward as a gentle stream of tears flowed down her cheeks. What had I done? How could I have been so callous, so prideful? Was being right more important than helping her to navigate the situation she faced? Yes, she had made a poor decision, but now, so had I.
Love protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:7), but my words had lacked love.
I had fallen hard, and I had failed miserably. In a moment of need, my friend had come to me. My own pride caused me to miss her need. Bending down, I wrapped my arms around her. I held her closely as we both wept. I whispered “I’m so sorry, please forgive me, forgive me for wanting to be right instead of wanting better for you. I am so sorry.” I sat beside her and asked a few questions, then listened as minutes and hours ticked by, without speaking a word.
Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).
What do you do when you fall?
- Admit your mistake. No excuses, no explanations, just admit any wrongdoing.
- Apologize. I am sorry. Three words, three powerful words.
- Pray. Pray for guidance, for wisdom, for direction, and knowing when to speak and when to listen.
- Love. When we are motivated by love, we want the best for them. Our words and actions will follow accordingly.
- Forgive yourself. No need to replay every moment and every word. Forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on.