Thursday, February 13, 2014

I've Messed Up

Editors have a difficult job as is evident from these mishaps:

~  IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you are one of hundreds of parachuting enthusiasts who bought our Easy Sky Diving book, please make the following correction: on page 8, line 7, the words "state zip code" should have read "pull rip cord."
~ It was incorrectly reported last Friday that today is T-shirt Appreciation Day.  In fact, it is actually Teacher Appreciation Day.
~ There are two important corrections to the information in the update on our Deep Relaxation professional development program.  First, the program will include meditation, not medication.  Second, it is experiential, not experimental.
~ Our newspaper carried the notice last week that Mr. Oscar Hoffnagle is a defective on the police force.  This was a typographical error.  Mr. Hoffnagle is, of course, a detective on the police farce.
~ Apology:  I originally wrote, "Woodrow Wilson's wife grazed sheep on front lawn of the White House." I'm sorry that typesetting inadvertently left out the word "sheep."
~ In one edition of today's Food Section, an inaccurate number of jalapeno peppers was given for Jeanette Crowley's Southwestern chicken salad recipe.  The recipe should call for two, not 21, jalapeno peppers.
~ The marriage of Miss Freda vanAmburg and Willie Branton, which was announced in this paper a few weeks ago, was a mistake which we wish to correct.
    We've all been there.  We've all said something we shouldn't have said, or we said something in a way that was hurtful (often when we didn't intend to do so).  Newspaper editors have learned that whenever they make a mistake, the best thing to do is to publicly announce (as quickly as possible), “I've messed up.  I didn't intend to but I did, and I want you to know that I’m sorry.”
    It’s a lesson we would all do well to learn.  Instead of denying responsibility, instead of pretending it never happened, instead of making excuses, we need to learn to say, “I've messed up.  I didn't intend to but I did, and I want you to know that I’m sorry.”
    That kind of honesty is necessary to restore our relationship with people around us.  More than that, it is necessary to restore our relationship with God.
    “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:8-9)
    The one thing that is absolutely necessary to restore relationships is the thing we often find most difficult – honesty.  Perhaps there’s someone whom you have hurt recently by your words or your deeds.  Don’t put it off.  Let them know, “I've messed up.  I didn't intend to but I did, and I want you to know that I’m sorry.”  Doing that won’t be a mistake you’ll need to correct later!
    Have a great day!

- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the Fayetteville Church of Christ in Fayetteville, NC, may be contacted at
alansmith.servant@gmail.com


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