Delete This Post!

I got a little ahead of myself recently. Unlike the guy who exclaimed, “I’m so far behind, I think I’m ahead!” I actually was ahead of the schedule for this particular piece. I was posting a blog that I had forgotten couldn’t be published because it contained time-sensitive information. This meant that I had to do something I rarely do. I had to “delete the post” or otherwise take it down for the time being. I plan to re-publish it in about a week when the information can be shared with everyone.

I’m sure I have piqued your curiosity. Of course this isn’t anything juicy or gossipy in substance, but it is something I am passionate about and can’t wait to share it with you! Actually, a handful of friends had already commented on this premature post through social media. They saw it before I could remove it. The rest of you will have to wait a while longer!

Twitter has a “delete tweet” button that removes postings on its site. Facebook allows users to share, edit, archive, turn off notifications and yes, “move to trash” dated or errant postings. I find these options to be quite useful, especially when things occur necessitating that changes be made to what we write or post through social media or on weblog sites like this one.

I have had numerous times in my life and ministry when I wish that do-overs or deletions could have been as easy as pressing a button on a handheld device like my phone. Too many times I have said, thought, or behaved in ways contrary to my faith and common sense. These impulsive and often hurtful responses have wounded those that I love and serve. I have found that an admission of wrongdoing is always the best practice, though my pride often gets in the way and keeps that confession “archived” too long!

Jesus spoke often about our relationship with the Father and others whom He loves. That’s what makes His teaching on the two greatest commands so consequential and meaningful to the purposes of God. Our Lord did not hesitate when asked one day by a religious leader who was trying to entrap Him with a theological question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus’ answer was succinct and with an important addition, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40). How we relate to God affects our relations with others and vice versa.

Relational life has vertical and horizontal dimensions to it! The teachings on forgiveness make this clear. In the Lord’s model prayer, we are instructed, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The follow up to this in Matthew is Jesus’ sobering warning, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15, NLT).

Next time you mess up and need a do-over in your relationships, don’t hesitate to make something right again by offering a word of apology and a request for forgiveness.

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.

Please check out these previous postings on forgiveness and recovery.


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