I was wrong.

Everyone knows someone who’s unreal.
I guess it’s somewhat hard to describe, so bear with me…
{I feel like I say that a. lot. Thanks for your patience.}

What I mean is this:
“The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” – Saint Irenaeus

{The rest of that quote is “… and to be alive consists in beholding God.”}

When I think about ‘being fully alive,’ what most comes to mind is vulnerability.
God created us to be in relationship with Him & the people around us. We build relationships by opening ourselves to someone else.
That’s vulnerability. That’s what builds closeness {or intimacy}.

It’s scary to be vulnerable with others; it’s scary to receive vulnerability from others.
It can be scary because there’s another human being about to share their brokenness with you, or it can be scary because you’re about to share your brokenness with someone else.

That’s our commonality {our least common denominator, if you will} in humanity: brokenness.

What confirms that a fear should exist is when your vulnerability is met with nothing from the other side.
When you’re talking to someone & perhaps you’re sharing that you really struggle to be patient with your child.
Or maybe, you’re really struggling to be diligent with your finances.
You share this thing… this place where you’re willingly displaying your brokenness..
And on the other side of the relationship, is a person who acts like they’ve just never imagined such a travesty. Like, they can’t fathom what it would be like to lose patience with their children.
Or that they’re completely on top of their finances.
Or simply, and most often, that everything in their life is just dandy. Perhaps they imply that they don’t struggle with anything.

It’s like the scene you’ve seen on TV where someone’s preparing for a job interview & they’re asked what their weaknesses are & they say, “I work too hard. I pay too much attention to the details. I care too much about my teammates.”
You laugh at these scenes because these people are being unreal. They’re acting as if they don’t have things that they struggle with. That they aren’t broken.

And that disconnects us from each other. It leaves no room for growth, and it’s disheartening for someone who’s trying to be in a relationship with you & wanting both of you to grow together.

Confession is refreshing. It lifts a burden from our souls and it’s such a basic form of vulnerability.
There’s something so radically different about the moments of confession in my marriage with John – the place where one of us comes to the other & humbly admits that we’ve been wrong. And the moment before the other person reacts. The fear that there might not be acceptance, and the reassurance that this is a relationship of unconditional love. That forgiveness is foundational here. That connects us in a way that’s so different from anything else in our lives. It’s beautiful. It’s humbling, honest, raw moments that bring us closer together & connect us deeply. And it always leads to more closeness {or intimacy}.

We live in a world that doesn’t value vulnerability.
I can’t tell you how many times & how many different ways I’ve heard it said.
Our culture says, “always put your best foot forward,” “never let your weaknesses show,” and so many other things that tell us that showing our humanity is going to destroy us.
We live in a culture that hushes you when you cry, that suppresses your expressions of your emotions because they’re viewed as weaknesses, “and no one wants to see that.”

But if we think about the most moving moments in our lives, it’s where people are being vulnerable.
Where they’re risking something {be it rejection or something far more intense} to share truth & pursue growth.

We have this practice in our home which came from something we heard Ted Sinn over at New City in Orlando share before we were married, and it radically changed the way I think about apologies… If you think about it, we’re so quick to say I’m sorry. ‘I’m sorry to hear about your ….’, ‘I’m sorry that you’re having a bad day,’ ‘I’m sorry that you’re sick,’ and so on. The phrase ‘I’m sorry’ no longer has any relation to a person’s responsibility for their actions. And we use the same language when we are apologizing to someone & are supposed to be responsible for our actions. We push our kids to ‘tell so-and-so that you’re sorry for hitting them,’ and we say ‘I’m sorry for this or that,’ or even just ‘I’m sorry.’
But how radical is it to replace that phrase with, “I was wrong.” So when I go to John, I have to say, “I was wrong for being disrespectful to you. I was wrong for responding in anger. I am wrong for putting my agenda before you.”
And that sets your heart in such a different place. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being wrong. I especially don’t like telling John {or anyone else} that I was wrong.

Using that language gives the other person the opportunity to put you down & say ‘you were wrong, and you’re stupid and I hate you,’ {preferably more mature language than that, but you get my point…} or to let you know that you’re unconditionally loved, forgiven & that you are worth knowing, even when you’re wrong.

So, I challenge you to be real. Be vulnerable. Be willing to say, “I was wrong.”
Because it’s powerful. And it’s the stuff that builds deep relationships.
That vulnerability is what makes us more fully alive.
And that’s a place where God’s glory shines so magnificently.

2 thoughts on “I was wrong.”

  1. “I was wrong” instead of “I’m sorry” (which has become so casual) is a lovely way of retaining your perspective when making amends with someone you love…I really like it.

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  2. Oh I like this….I think with the kiddos I am going to start having them tell each other, “I was wrong” vs. “I’m sorry for…” Should probably start trying this with Tony also. You are so right in that it is completely humbling and open and raw though cause just thinking about doing it causes apprehension in my stomach. Yet I think if I do this it will bring us closer than before.

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