When Admitting A ‘Mistake’ Is Just Another ‘Lie’!


It was the apostle Paul who wrote, “Lie not one to another…” (Colossians 3:9) Somehow along the way and through the course of time, ‘admitting it was only a mistake in memory by someone caught in a web of lies,  has replaced the confession part of repentance.  With repentance comes the obligation of those offended to forgive.  But when one doesn’t confess that they have purposely lied,  but have just been ‘mistaken’, the offended is left with nothing to forgive. Thus both parties are left with an emptiness and with little resolution of feelings hurt.

Many years ago I had an interesting conversation with my brother.  I was relating to him an event in my life from when I was a child.  The event was nothing to be proud of nor would I think it would enhance anyone’s reputation. After listening to my sob story he proceeded to tell me that I misremembered the incident and that he was the one who had done the dirty deed, not me.  I disagreed with him and to this day we both claim we were responsible for harm that came to another child that day.  Perhaps someday we will know the truth and when we do, one of us will have to admit we made a ‘mistake.’ No repentance will be needed, simply a clearing up of the facts.

However, a number of years ago one of our prominent newsmen admitted he made a ‘mistake’ in remembering certain events in his life.  It seems that as the days went by he started having to admit more ‘mistakes’ in recalling things that clearly were meant to aggrandize his reputation and experience. No rational human could make such a ‘mistake’ in their memory. After a slap on the hand he was back on the beat reporting as if nothing ever happened! He is following a long time tradition employed by many of being caught in a lie, but saying it was only a ‘mistake’ and that they ‘misremembered.’  To forgive is divine, but when admitting a mistake is just another lie, what do we do with it?

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