why bad manners are not just a “mistake”


Someone very close to my hubby and I has been incredibly rude. This is a young person who should know better. A young person who has come to us time and again and to whom we’ve never turned down. We’ve been there for them through a lot of crisis’.

We interrupted our plans yesterday as we were told they would be coming to stay for a few days because of yet another “crisis”. We rushed around to do the things we’d planned. They were to be at our home by six.

By seven we still hadn’t heard anything so we left the door unlocked and went for a walk on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Of was a beautiful evening and considering what was yet to happen, we were glad we did.

This morning I texted said person and asked why they hadn’t let us know they weren’t coming and that we considered it bad manners.

The reply? “Gosh, I’m sorry. I guess I fell asleep. Hope you never make a mistake”. (Do you get the intended sarcasm and disingenuous apology? )

We responded that there was no way they had slept for over twenty- four hours so there was plenty of time to let us know.

Now finally to the point of this little story.

We have become a culture of people who call everything a mistake. And we call that an apology.

It isn’t.

Mistakes are usually things like forgetting to sign a check for a payment, forgetting something in a recipe, using the wrong tool for a project, usually the not-so-important.

For example, drinking and driving is not a mistake, a poor choice. It’s far worse than that. It’s a threat to human life.

Adultery is not just a poor choice, it destroys families.

Embezzlement is not a “mistake”, a poor choice. It’s a criminal act.

Do I really need to mention rape, incest, child molestation, illegal drug use?

The watering down of really
bad behavior, the acceptance of really wrong actions is far more than a mistake, a poor choice. People will not change if they think a casual “I’m sorry” just to get off the hook,is going to make everything right.

I’m a Christian. I know all about forgiveness. I also know that while Christ taught forgiveness, He also taught that changed behavior was the proof that the forgiveness requested was genuine.

Back to my story. We decided that this time, the behavior exhibited by this person would no longer be acceptable. That we would no longer allow our love for this person to get in the way of some much-needed growing-up.

When we allow continued bad behavior to go unchecked, we have only ourselves to blame if it continues.

We’re still waiting for a genuine apology. As far as for my behavior, I try very hard to make sure when I offer an apology, it’s genuine and heartfelt and most importantly repeat the behavior that required the apology in the first place. :).

God bless and I hope you have a good day.


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