I can only remember one time in my entire life that I said something right to another person’s face because I wanted to hurt their feelings. That occurred about sixty years ago, and it still makes my heart twinge when I remember it.
I’m sure that in the decades that have passed since then I’ve said many stupid things that might have hurt another’s feelings. I hope they know it was unintentional and will forgive me.
To those who have said things that hurt me, I forgive you. A man once called me “Four Eyes.” I forgive him. He wanted to insult me, but it didn’t work. I had no regard for his opinion of my looks, and that made the barb ineffective. Still, he had a bad intent so I forgive him.
There are others. One member of my family delighted in pointing out our faults. She often told me I was “putting on weight.” My sister couldn’t wear a sleeveless dress because she had “Arms like hams.” I forgive her.
One of the most important sermons my preacher ever gave was when he said, “The Bible teaches us that if we will not forgive, we cannot ask to be forgiven. As Christians, we have to love what we can about another person and forgive the rest.” I hope I can live up to that.
I don’t belong to a political party. That often makes me feel like an outsider. It’s a position I cherish these days, when so much rhetoric from both sides is mean, spiteful, and slanted.
When someone starts a derogatory story they know is untrue and another person, who would like it to be true, passes it along without checking out the facts, that isn’t Fake News. It’s a lie, a plain, old-fashioned, case of bearing false witness, even if the one who passes it along isn’t the one who started it.
There are so many poison arrows flying around these days, I don’t believe anything I hear or read until I check it out.
So…words. Lord, help me to control my words so I don’t say anything that might hurt someone.
If I ever met that girl I spoke to so unkindly so long ago, I’d get down on my knees and beg her to forgive me. At my age, someone would have to help me get back up, but the burden I’ve born for sixty years would be lifted if she would say, “Yes. I forgive you.”