The Power of Sorry

The human mind is an amazing organ that can instantaneously render a decision using a host of different ideas.  It is done with computer-like speed when there is no time to reflect on the fruit of the options available.  Many years ago while I was collecting homework, one of my brighter students didn’t have anything for me.  Before I pondered the fruit of a remark, I made a smartish comment about his bleary eyes and what it appeared he had done instead of studying.  Instantly he responded with a disrespectful reply.  Tit for tat!  Just then I bit my tongue from responding in kind.  I had a good one, but in that instant my brain went into hyper drive.
“What was I here for?  Was it to be a teacher – an example?  Or was I here to show off to the other students how witty and cool I was?  What if this kid was sharper than I?  What if he had another retort ready that was better than mine?  Was I prepared to go low with yet another?  Where was this headed?  What did I want for this student?  Did I want him to succeed in life?  What would the other students (who were now all ears) think if I lost the exchange?  What would they think if I won?”
It was then that I thought of Romans 12:10.  Paul wrote, “Honor one another above yourself.”  Or as paraphrased in The Message, “Practice playing second fiddle.” All of this occurred in a millisecond and I said, “I’m sorry.”  He stopped as if someone hit him in the stomach.  The next class he brought the homework assignment and to this day, many years later, he is my friend.  I learned it as a child. Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”  It worked.