"Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way."James 3:2 (NLT)
"To err is human, to forgive is divine."Alexander Pope, 1711
James is my man. He gets me. He understands that my mouth and my mind aren't connected. My soul and my speech aren't in sync. There are times that my words just spill out without a filter or thought of the consequences.
We all make mistakes. I'm a champion at this. I've made family members cry with my thoughtlessness. As a pastor, I had people leave the church because of my tactless approach. As a co-worker, I've actually been told that I'm "chatty"...and "I mean that not in the bad way" when we all knew they meant it in the bad way.
James understood that we all make mistakes and at least Alexander Pope could recognize that this is just part of our human condition. What moves us from character flaw, lack of self control, or meanness is the act of forgiving one another for hurtful words. Better yet, forgiving ourselves for the times when we fall short.
We are very good at never forgetting the slight experienced, the foible made, or the hostility expressed. We need to ask for forgiveness. We need to offer it freely - to ourselves and others. And we need to accept it graciously. This is our holy opportunity to choose a divine response to this broken condition.