I’ve learned something in recent days, and it is fostering in me a constant attitude of repentance. The kinds of things I used to say about other people, believing I was simply being faithful and “telling it like it is,” are now being said about me. I would make sweeping statements, based on what I thought I knew about the inner thoughts and motivations of people who differed with me on key issues. But I was wrong. I was wrong to say those things because I was wrong about the inner thoughts and motivations of those who saw things differently.
I know this is true, because I, too, see a lot of things differently these days. And many people who maintain the positions I once held are accusing me of abandoning the faith. And it hurts. For two reasons.
First, I haven’t abandoned the faith. I am more committed to faithful discipleship than I have ever been. And second, I realize how much I must have hurt others by my wrong assumptions and insensitive comments in days past. I am so sorry.
But, in the midst of my genuine and heartfelt repentance, I sense a new energy within me. I intend to use my gifts to help make it clear that no single point of view has a monopoly on faithfulness. We can disagree with one another, but we must not suggest that our opponents are our enemies, or that those with whom we disagree are less faithful or spiritually sensitive than we are. It is so easy to do that, without even realizing that we’re doing it. I know. I did it for years without realizing. And I was wrong. And I am so, so sorry.