An Apology

IMG_1302Lately, God has been pressing on my heart the need to mend my critical and judgmental heart.  A good friend of mine boldly pointed out that my husband and I were very snappy with each other. I honestly did not believe her. In fact, I was a little angry.  I couldn’t become too angry because I knew, in my heart, that she was only trying to help me and only wanted the best for me.

I fumed over it silently much of the day, careful not to show my true hurt feelings. How dare she stick her nose where it did not belong! That’s just how my husband and I are, we mean no ill intent, it’s just how we interact.  Later that night I asked my husband if I had been snappy with him.  Thinking of course that he would relieve my fears and say that I had been a peach. As you probably guessed, he didn’t. He said that he had felt I had been irritable towards him. I wanted to deny it, blame, or just ignore. I apologized. He said I did not need to apologize; he understood, and just assumed it was part of my pregnancy. (I have been told I lose all filters during pregnancy.)  I can’t believe he was making excuses for me. I thought to myself, what have I done to make him think he had to make excuses for me. I would like to blame pregnancy hormones, but no amount of body changes or hormones should make you treat your family and friends in an ill manner.

The following verse keeps haunting me:  “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye’, when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye” Matthew 7:1-5

How blind I have become! Why can I not just accept people for who they are? God made you. Who am I to critique you?  So with that, I apologize. I apologize to my husband for being condescending and arrogant. I apologize to the countless women in stores, who I have given a derisive look or upturned nose. I apologize to my co-workers for critiquing your work instead of seeing how you see things or (gasp) helping. I apologize to my family for not listening, but expecting them to drop everything to listen to me. I apologize to my friends for betraying your trust by my “venting” and gossiping in the vain statement of “just trying to help”. I apologize to my church, for thinking there is no room for service, when I fail to look past my own selfish life to reach out.  I apologize for seeing something that needs to be done, and walking to the other side. I apologize to my daughter for losing my patience but expecting you to never lose yours. I apologize to the world for being the very definition of hypocrite.

“Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!” Luke 12:3

Consider the following story from Luke 11:37-41:

“As Jesus was speaking, one of the Pharisees invited him home for a meal. So he went in and took his place at the table. His host was amazed to see that he sat down to eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony required by Jewish custom. Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy-full of greed and wickedness! Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over. “

You see, even though you may not have heard the thoughts in my head; they were always there, even if just beneath the surface. For like the Pharisees, the outside of my cup was clean, but I desperately needed to let God clean the inside.

Hear my prayer (taken from Psalm 51: 10-12):

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me
Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me

Cast me not away from Thy presence, oh Lord
Take not Thy holy spirit from me
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his good work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. “

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