We had a lovely dinner with old friends, yesterday. The flavor of our relationship with these friends shifted a few years ago when we left the church they still attend. We did not agree with their decision to stay, as they probably did not agree with our decision to leave. But we have maintained a relationship. And we never stopped caring about one other.
Since that time, I’ve learned that life is not black or white, wrong or right, or easily explained. Good people make mistakes. Well-meaning people hurt others. Nobody is perfect. I’ve learned that “There is therefore no condemnation in Christ Jesus,” and I am sure glad of that because I’ve stumbled; I’ve made poor judgments; I have hurt others.
Hopefully, I have acknowledged these times and taken responsibility for the pain I have caused somebody else, whether intentionally or not. Hopefully, my harmful behavior was not self-serving or reactive in defense of protecting things I hold dear but that are not mine to hold. Hopefully, if I need to tell a painful truth, I will “tell the truth in love,” offering the grace and mercy I would want in return. Hopefully, I have never been cruel.
There is a difference between making an honest mistake and being cruel.
Please, O God, give me the courage to change the things I can change, help me to accept the things I cannot change, and grant me the wisdom to know the difference.