Three words have escaped the vocabularies of politicians, office holders and public figures. Those words are, “I was wrong.”
Instead of saying those three words, these people go to great length to avoid admitting responsibility for what they do. In a recent example, Hillary Clinton said she “misspoke” about Nancy Reagan’s position on HIV and AIDS.
The former Secretary of State did not say she was wrong. She did not say her words were irresponsible. She said she misspoke. The dictionary meaning of “Misspoke,” is to speak incorrectly or imperfectly.
The Bible teaches that we shall all give account of every idle word we speak and in the following verse, the Lord said, “For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.” We are responsible for every word we speak.
James wrote, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such, we will incur a stricter judgment,” (James 3:1 NASB). Why? Because people in a responsible position may say something they will regret. Teachers are people we hold in high regard. But a teacher who says something that is untrue may be responsible for the spiritual deaths of hundreds, if not thousands of people.
When we attempt to deflect responsibility for our actions and our words, we are dealing ourselves a potentially deadly blow. Yet, many people will never admit they have sinned in their words or deeds. History is replete with people who have tried to shift blame and/or duck accountability for what they do.
God expects us to admit our sins and take responsibility for our wrongs. It is only in this way that our path to repentance can be successful.
This attitude of humble repentance and confession should be a hallmark of our political leaders. Yet many are so worried about being seen as wrong for anything they say or do, they avoid saying those three little words, “I was wrong.”