To me, one of the greatest proofs of the unity of the Body of Christ is when we humble ourselves and come to each other when we offend each other.
I realized this over the past month, when a member of my church came to me when they thought they offended me. They didn’t even need me to say anything, they knew they messed up. I almost cried because I thought it was so beautiful for them to come to me, admit they screwed up, then proceed to tell me what God is doing in them and how I could pray for them. Wow! The other day, I had a professor apologize to me, which I thought was overwhelming–that a professor humbled himself to my lowly, undergrad level when they knew they said the wrong thing. I realized that this is what the Body should be doing–humbling ourselves when we have done something wrong.
What I think is ridiculous is this: When we come to each other, and say, “You know, this certain thing you said to me really offended me.” Maybe explain why it offended you, maybe say that you’ve been struggling with that thing for a while. And what does the other person say? “You need to find your identity in the Lord, not in what I say.” What? No apology? You’re not going to admit you were wrong? So, I can say whatever I want now, offend whoever I want, and I can smooth it over with “Don’t find your identity in what I say, but in God.”
That is one of the most unloving things I have ever heard. Even if the person does struggle with identity issues, is this really a result of that? Could it be possible that you just had a moment of word-vomit and said something out of love?
Think before you speak, Christians. If we aren’t humbling ourselves with each other, how are we going to humble ourselves in order to serve the world?