When was the last time you did something really stupid? Now just so we are "on the same page," as they say, let me share the definition of "stupid." Merriam Webster dictionary defines it as, "given to unintelligent decisions or acts, (i.e. acting in an unintelligent or careless manner)." The following synonyms also apply: airheaded, bird-brained, bonehead, boneheaded, brain-dead, brainless, bubble-headed, chuckle-headed, dense, dim, dim-witted, doltish, dopey, dorky, dull, dumb, dunderheaded, empty-headed, etc.
My wife was sick with the flu a couple of days this week and I was acting caregiver. Things went pretty well in general, and I was able to keep on top of just about everything with her while also keeping up with my job requirements. Tuesday evening I fixed supper, was doing the wash, and working on some things on the computer in the office. We finished supper and I noticed our dog cleaning my plate (I had carelessly set it too near the floor), so I carried it to the kitchen and placed it on the counter. I put the wash into the dryer, then moved on to the office and took care of a couple of things. On the way back through the kitchen, I thought I'd have another dollop of food; so I spooned it out on the clean plate on the counter, ate about half of it and realized the plate was clean because the dog had "cleaned it"! I thought, "Oh well, too late to worry about it now!" Of course the next day I came down with the flu ... at least I think it was the flu!
Again, when was the last time you did something stupid, dopey, dorky or dumb? For most of us, it would be more often than we like to admit. Of course most of the time we do something stupid, we look around quickly to make sure no one saw us. This time, however, I shared my stupid act with my wife. She laughed way too hard and then shared my dumb move with her sister, and now the list goes on and on.
What about the stupid things we do spiritually? Do we treat them in the same way as we treat the other dumb things we do? Do we try to hide them or deny them? What about the unkind words, the angry actions, the failure to reference God or put him first in our lives? How do we view our interaction with our family, friends, neighbors or co-workers — do we ever do dumb things in those relationships, acting in an unintelligent, insensitive, or careless manner?
If you answer, "No," then you are an exceptional human being. All of us mess up in our lives and our relationships on a regular basis; it's what we do afterwards that makes the difference.
God's word tells us that we all sin, and there no real exceptions:
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness (1 John 1:8-9 NLT).
As the saying goes, "When you mess up, fess up!" Confession is where change of the heart begins. That's where we begin to recognize and acknowledge the "stupid spiritual things" we have done, and then commit that with God's help, we will stop ourselves before we do them again.
I don't think I ever ate off the dog's plate before and I doubt I will do so again. I do know, however, that I will probably continue to do other dumb things in my life and relationships. I also know that if I confess my sins, God is faithful to forgive them and I can then confess them to those I hurt or offended and begin to repair the relationships!