I am up and the home town again for several days, finishing up the last I need to do to prepare for my parents’ estate sale and not surprisingly, I sometimes run into people I know and I am almost always amazed at peoples’ behavior. I know a lot about behavior since I deal with people a lot and it is part of my training. It is almost universal that if someone is guilty of something, ashamed of their actions, owes someone money for instance and has not paid them back, borrowed a tool and either broke it or never returned it, or in some other manner did you wrong they try to avoid you. There are people that either borrowed money from my dad, or got groceries on credit when he had his store and never paid him and they do that to me, they are still ashamed, and my dad has been gone for 4 years.
The other day I had to run some errands, I parked and as I walked towards the door at the store, I glanced over and saw someone that, well, to be kind to them and their behavior, was far less than kind in their treatment of me and that is putting it mildly. But, as I was walking I was just of sort of looking around and saw them. They saw me and almost immediately, looked down at the ground, turned away slightly before lifting their head back up, trying to look toward me but they were unable to make eye contact. I have had this before, but it always amazes me to see it happen. So many people, if ashamed of something they have done, will do almost anything to avoid eye contact. The behavioral aspect of that is that if the people make eye contact, there is a greater chance that the other will possibly try to initiate a conversation and the one that owes them money, or whatever they feel guilty about, want to avoid that because they have to face their own misbehavior, almost like if they and the one that was done wrong don’t talk, they aren’t really guilty. They essentially try to hide from you and when they can’t hide, they look away. I have had people that owed me money that I have almost bumped into at the grocery store going one direction in an aisle, coming towards me, and then they abruptly turn around and go the opposite direction, afraid to face their guilt. The avoidance doesn’t make the wrong go away, it doesn’t make either of them think that whatever is wrong did not happen, both are aware perhaps instead of owing one money, they were talking about them, or perhaps stole something, broke something, whatever it may be, but both know and avoiding does not change things. Sometimes, the one done wrong is hurt by the actions and prefers to avoid the interaction as well, but for me, I have forgiven them. I don’t approve of their actions and to be honest, they know that they were wrong, but I cannot control others I can only control me and my response to the maltreatment. But, they know the wrong they did, to me or to others, and are ashamed to face that fact. Humans tend to feel that if they avoid the interaction then they don’t have to acknowledge what they did, and if they don’t acknowledge it, they don’t have to apologize or otherwise own up for their actions, avoiding facing the sin, the maltreatment, and by that action, will not apologize or ask forgiveness.
I have been on both sides of this type of interaction, when I was younger, maybe I had been drinking or doing something else I shouldn’t have done, I would try to avoid eye contact or other interaction with my parents. Sometimes they knew, sometimes they did not. Maybe I stayed out past curfew, got bad grades or something, but trying to avoid it did not change whatever wrong I had done, it actually added to it because one cannot move forward when they are carrying baggage for misdeeds or worse, continuing in their wrong actions. When I had a bad grade and got a progress report, one of my parents had to sign the report, eventually, if that was not turned in signed, the school would mail one to the house so it didn’t make the issue nonexistent, it was just a weak attempt on my part to avoid my responsibility and due to that, unable to try to make things right. In the past when I have been the one that was wronged, I would sometimes try to avoid interactions due to either anger or desire to spare the other person embarrassment. Yet, my avoidance did not change things either. As I wouldn’t go to church when I knew I was sinning, thinking by not going to church I did not have to admit to God I was sinning, but HE KNEW.
But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. Psalms 32:5
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
He knows our sins. We can’t hide or pretend they don’t exist regardless of how we try and failing to confess our sins simply serves to increase our shame and guilt.
Oh my precious God, I praise You for Your sacrifice of Your son to provide me my salvation and the forgiveness of my sins. I have confessed my sins to You and no longer am sinning. I know at times I will stumble, and I pray that You help me avoid the stumbling but also know that if I truly when I come to You and confess any sins in the future that You will forgive me again. I thank You that I no longer need to try to hide my sins because You have cleansed me of them and washed me in the precious Blood of Christ. Help others to know that forgiveness from You for their sins and turning away from sin will give them salvation as well. I ask You to use me to help reach others that they may follow You and let You have Your will in their lives. I ask that You use me to help bring my children to You that they may have salvation and deliverance from sin. I ask that You continue to help my faith grow and to help me have the heart and mind of Christ.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Thank you all for stopping by, please, if you see someone you did wrong, don’t run and hide, face them, confess and try to make amends, apologize and ask forgiveness. If someone has done you wrong, then forgive them, whether they apologize or not. Both things will bless you. And, after you are blessed, be a blessing to someone else.