I heard a powerful sermon this morning from Bishop TD Jakes online, titled “From Guilt to Gratitude” and it moved me so deeply that I had to write my thoughts. One of the woman codes that I like best is Code #10 “Apologize Quickly”. I love this Code because I get it. When we ADMIT versus cover our SIN, our WRONG, our FAULTS we FREE ourselves most of all, but we also bring HEALING, GROWTH and RESTORATION to those we have wronged.
A man or woman who cannot apologize is a fool. Period. Forgive me because I am about to “go in” this afternoon. The truth of the matter is that guilt is a slow killer. It destroys us from the inside out. It breaks us internally like a disease. We let pride get in and it eats us up. We let arrogance, position, and fear of being found out keep us from doing what is right. Let me tell you a true story that I have been writing about now since April 2012. It is the basis of my Essence “Sisters Heal” series from 2012-2013 and now CODE #9 (Don’t Gossip) in my new book, The Woman Code. See also Code #10 (pages 137-139).
I am going to keep talking about it, and sharing it because I know what it feels like to have someone you once valued like a sister, betray, violate and strategically stalk you like an animal because she could not simply apologize for her mistake, admit it, and ask for forgiveness. You see when we cannot “OWN IT” as Bishop said this morning. When we are hard-hearted and unwilling to just say, “I got it wrong sis.” “I made an error.” We allow the enemy to get in. We allow pride to take root. Instead of just doing what is right we want to cover what we did wrong. And when we make a decision to COVER our sins. And wrongs. We now must LIE. We must character assassinate. We must head off the innocent victim of our wrong by trying to convince others that they (not us) caused the rift. And we must run them in the ground. Because we know that if the truth comes to light of who we are, and what we did, we may lose our position. We may lose affection. We may lose what we have.
I am here to tell you that is the enemies’ biggest lie. He is a liar. And then he makes you one too. He whispers to you: You gotta get her or him. You gotta take them out before they take you out with the truth. I have been dealing with this person’s wrath and pursuit for 2 years and 7 months. I have tried to forgive. Reach out. Talk. I even apologized publicly for anything I might have done to invoke such anger. I have covered her, when I could have vindicated myself. I sent a private cease & desist letter when I got tired of the attacks. Lawyers got involved. It was supposed to be over, but recently I found out she is at it again. And to be honest me, my family, and my friends are praying for this person, because this is not normal. It’s actually quite scary.
When I think back to how this all escalated, it is simply mind numbing for me that such a small matter, and some heated words between friends in private text & email escalated into this. All we mutually had to do was say, “I am sorry.” And none of this would have happened. But when someone get’s fixated on you. And they know that they have wronged you in secret. They fear being found out. So they lie. They character assassinate. They bring reproach on your good name. They tell anyone who will listen how horrible you are. They “warn” others in high places not to bless you, lift you, give you a platform. They manipulate facts, twist the truth, and they get others who have corrupt minds just like theirs to join in with them.
What am I saying? I am saying that GUILT is a TOMB. This woman who keeps putting her mouth on me is destroying herself in her attempts to destroy me. I am good. I am thriving. I have a best-selling book. A global media platform. I have been placed in high places by men and women who respect, honor, and adore me NOT because I am perfect, but because they know my character. They know how I LIVE. She on the other hand has decimated her credibility in key circles of influence by attempting to ruin mine. GUILT unresolved, and unrepented of, will drive you to do things you things you don’t want to do.
GUILT makes us GUTLESS to do what is right. I keep being elevated higher while this person has topped out at best. Is stagnant. Stuck. GUILT makes you stuck. GUILT makes you bitter. GUILT ruins friendships. GUILT ruins opportunity. GUILT makes you want what someone else has. GUILT makes you self-destruct.
Do not be caught staying GUILTY. Do something about what you got wrong. Go and make it right! How you ask. Here are 5 keys I talk about in my new book to get it right when you have gotten it so very wrong:
#1. APOLOGIZE QUICKLY do not let PRIDE & FEAR have their way with you!
#2. ASK how you can make amends if you can without causing further harm
#3. Forgive yourself and commit to change bad behaviors
#4. Don’t bring other people into your mess
#5. Be accountable for how you treat and handle other people. It matters. A courageous conversation can change your life.