People speak with a mental filter. I know this is true because I have watched them change their tone, content, and language when they find out I am a preacher. Suddenly, the filter only allows things through that they think I will find appropriate.
This mental filter was learned through their parents for some people, and it has tiny holes in it. They strain out so much bad stuff that anything remotely questionable seems out of character. Others were not raised by parents who were committed Christians, and the holes in their filters are large. This allows lots of things through that you might think they have no filter at all.
Occasionally, the filter does not catch something. Call it a moment of weakness, being real, or speaking your mind. Blame it on being tired, angry, or frustrated. You say something, and you can tell by the look on other peoples’ faces that you crossed a line.
Those misspoken words were then taken wrong. Other people were offended or hurt. They didn’t understand how you could say that. How could you be so thoughtless, mean, cruel, and ignorant?
You, on the other hand, are embarrassed. Regret and guilt fill your mind and your soul. The statement keeps racing through your brain, “I probably should not have said that.” At least not to those people and in that way. I never meant to hurt or offend anyone. It was a mistake. I am sorry for any pain I might have caused.
One challenge for a believer is not to hold onto every word you hear. One aspect of loving each other is that we are to “keep no record of wrongs.” If the followers of Jesus are truly going to love one another, then we will have to let some things go.
Through the years, I had experienced people getting mad at me over something I said or wrote. Some have left the Church I lead in anger and frustration. Others have run my name down because of one stupid comment. Today I want to acknowledge that we all say things we regret. I promise not to hold them against you if you promise not to hold them against me. Together we can practice the grace of Jesus by saying, “You are forgiven for some things you probably should not have said.”