Yesterday’s blog post, Enjoying Life’s Simple Pleasures, that was sent to our email readers contained an inordinate number of errors. It was an oops moment. Let me explain.
Normally as I write, I do very little proofing as I type my thoughts. Often my ideas come in rapid-fire succession, so I don’t want to stop writing to proof read. When I’m finished, I pick out an appropriate picture. Then go back and proof. Most of the time, I will have Norma Jean read over it one more time, before sending it out.
Yesterday, after the rough draft and while putting together a lovely collage of pictures, that I’m sure you will want to see, I accidently clicked the wrong tab. I hit “publish” instead of “save.” I didn’t know I did it. Then suddenly I realized what had happened.
Quickly, I began correcting. Adding. Deleting. Changing. Updating. And inserting the picture. About that time, Norma Jean awoke and came out for her morning coffee. I exclaimed “Honey, you’ve got to proof this now, I accidently sent it out.” Of course, she still found several mistakes.
Those who read the blog later on facebook, twitter, or directly from the blog site, saw the updated version. But, oh my, the poor souls that received the email version, were subjected to an embarrassing, mistake-ridden post.
It was truly an oops moment. And it got me to thinking about the oops in life.
Oops, as defined by dictionary.com, is a word “used to express mild dismay, chagrin, surprise, etc., as at one’s own mistake, a clumsy act, or social blunder.”
An oops moment is unplanned. Unintentional. And accidental. We all have oops moments in life. Especially if you have small children or grandchildren. Kids with their natural curiosity, unbridled enthusiasm, and boundless energy get into things. Explore. And easily find a way to make a mess. They’re not premeditated, malicious acts. Just mistakes. Oops moments. It takes patience being a parent dealing with all the oops in life.
Adults have oops moments, too. Not on purpose. They’re inadvertent. Unexpected. And unforeseen. But stuff happens. Sometimes, our oops moments occur when we’re in too big a hurry. Not paying attention. Being careless. Or reacting instead of responding. Like an awkward interaction with someone. An inappropriate word. A social slip-up. Or an embarrassing situation. Like walking out of a restaurant restroom with toilet paper on your shoe. Or worse. Oops!
Oops missteps by others ought not to be judged harshly, unfairly or unreasonably. The golden rule needs to apply here. Treat others the way you want to be treated (Matt 7:12). Be nice. Be kind. Don’t make the other person feel worse than they already do.
Of course, when we make mistakes, we ought to admit them. Apologize. And do our best to correct them, if possible. And, then, move on.
Although sin is admittedly worse than a simple oops moment. Not all sin is intentional. Premeditated. Or willful. Sometimes we just carelessly slip up. The Bible even has a word for that kind of sin.
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Gal. 6:1)
The word “trespass,” Barclay observes “does not mean a deliberate sin; but a slip as might come to a man on an icy road or a dangerous path.” It’s not deliberate disobedience. It is a sin that occurs in the heat of the moment. A good brother or sister simply slips or trips.
When our oops moments result in something sinful, they ought to be confessed and corrected. Both with God and other people.
There is, however, a responsibility placed of each of us to be charitable. Helpful. And kind. When a brother slips up we ought to humbly and meekly assist him or her to make correction. It’s the right thing to do. Plus, we know we’ve all experienced our share of sinful oops in life. When someone slips up, we can all echo the sentiment, “There but for the grace of God go I.”
Less serious oops moments, provide for us nothing worse than a knowing chuckle. When you make oops mistakes, you might as well laugh at yourself. After all, everyone else is.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman