Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"That's NOT What I Meant!"

Have your words ever encountered a mental traffic jam traveling from your brain to your lips?

Our writer's group has grown like my waistline after a run-in with a box of Godivas, so we decided to split it into two. The group, not the chocolates.

authors writing quill ink paper glasses
Courtesy of Simon Howden @freedigitalphotos.net
One bonus will be a shorter drive for many members since they'll now meet at a central location. The new group's hostess, Karen, asked if I planned to attend critique at her house. Because of the distance between our homes...

I meant to say:

"My husband doesn't want me to drive that far."

Instead I said:

"My husband doesn't want me going to that area."


"That area" conjures images of drug dealers lurking around dilapidated buildings, the opposite of Karen's beautiful home and neighborhood.

home stairs leaves neighborhood
Courtesy of Rosemary Ratcliff @freedigitalphotos.net

She said my statement reminded her of Elvis Presley's old song, "In the Ghetto," and laughed off my thoughtless words.

I'm confident she would have forgiven me even if she hadn't just guest blogged on Teresa Tierney's,"Roadbocks to Forgiveness" site.
(Here's a link to Karen Cameron's great post on forgiving offenses. )

But the incident made me wonder how often I've opened my mouth and inserted my strappy-sandaled foot without realizing it.

We've all said things we regret.

upset sad woman on phone
Courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net

If you're cringing over a remark you made:

1) Apologize ASAP.

2) If appropriate, clarify what you meant.

If a remark has wounded you, consider this:

Could it have been a misworded statement, or something heard out of context?

Regardless of the intent, we can mimic Teresa Tierney and Karen Cameron's examples of forgiveness, and use this Godly wisdom going forward:

"Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry." James 1:19 NLT

Have you ever been insulted or shocked by someone's thoughtless comment? How did you deal with it?

Message from my waistline: When it comes to dealing with issues, God is better than Godivas.