"Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, " How could you do this?" For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. So they said to him, "What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?" — for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy. He said to them, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you." Jonah 1:10-12
Have you ever been dead wrong and known it? Of course this is a rhetorical question. We all have at some point in our lives and this has surely happened multiple times. The real question is about how we handle it. For many, the automatic response is to continue to bull our way through and stand on our manufactured correctness no matter what. It must be asked what this accomplishes. Among the answers are estrangement, deterioration of trust and credibility, damaging of relationships, ostracisation and being labeled a liar.
Suppose instead that we humble ourselves and admit our error? We are all human and subject to the same mistakes. 1 Cor 10:13 reveals to us that "no temptation has overtaken us except that which is common to man." None of us are busy creating new ways to be wrong. Character and integrity, however, are revealed in how we handle the realization that we are outside of where we need to be.
Beloved, Johan knew that he was wrong. Seeing the affect of his actions on others, he immediately owned the problem by identifying himself and explaining that he was to blame. Further, he accepted responsibility by instructing his shipmates to throw him overboard and let God deal with him. In so doing, he confined punishment to where it belonged, upon himself. He caused the lives of the innocent to be spared. He gave them information that influenced them to worship God. And he ultimately received forgiveness for the mistake that he made.
Let us always pursue the freedom that accompanies truth by acknowledging our errors, admitting our fault and taking responsibility for our actions. God blesses these humble acts with forgiveness. We may similarly find that our neighbors will too.
Rejoicing in the Lord,