On not being perfect

This morning, in the company of my husband and two others, I opened my mouth and listened to myself speak words of poison. It was just one sentence, but it was gossip, slander and betrayal combined with pointscoring and one-upmanship. I was trying to be funny, but as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew they were as far from humour as I could get.

Immediately I knew I had stuffed up. In a big way.

Of course I talk about the fact that everyone stuffs up, that we all fail, that we are all broken, that we sin and no-one's perfect. It's in the Bible. We all experience it.

But day to day, I don't often recognise my own failures very often. It's easy enough to justify myself when I'm judgmental, impatient, unkind, critical or cross. I can always find a reason for my behaviour. "Of course I can be angry about that. I've been wronged!" "Of course I can criticise him. What he did was stupid." "Well, I wouldn't say this to everyone, but I can say it to you because you know what I mean."

Feeling perfect and righteous is helped along by the fact that I write a blog and get to dispense whatever advice I like. It's helped by the fact that people like my book. 

Most days, I might talk about sin, but I don't feel the effects of my own brokenness, but today's stuff up was so big that even I couldn't miss it.

And the effects were odd. All day, I've been noticing the 'normal' things that come out of my mouth. I've been noticing the judgment, the anger, the criticism, the unkindness and the self-righteousness. It's like I've had my sunglasses wiped clean so I can see what's really out there. And it's not very pretty.

I apologised to my husband, to our friends and to God for my words. They were all gracious enough to forgive me. And once again, I rest on undeserved grace and love. 

Thank you.