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Wide White: It seemed like a good idea at the time

Monday, January 24, 2011

It seemed like a good idea at the time

The other day Jamie said, "Having a baby always seems like such a good idea until I get pregnant."

It was just a moment of exasperation that I think every pregnant mom goes through because in reality, we're really excited about the prospect of the next one coming!

But after laughing (and sympathizing) with Jamie over the comment, my mind went down a bit of a rabbit trail. I thought about how often we say, "It seemed like such a good idea at the time!" Things that we do or say we later regret, even when well-intentioned, but we sort of excuse it because it seemed like a good idea.

One of the most recent examples of this in my own life was a blog post I had a few months back. I used some personal examples that, while kept anonymous, were still pretty hurtful to some people. After a few months and a number of conversations and emails, I removed the content, apologized, and asked for forgiveness. I realized that my reasons for posting what I did were really irrelevant. Nobody cared whether it was "a good idea at the time." It was made evident that posting what I did was a very bad idea.

What makes scenarios like this difficult is it's so easy for us to get hung up on what we thought were our good intentions that we lose sight of the hurt we've caused. I was hung up on that for quite a while. It took time and a good measure of grace for me to realize that "It seemed like a good idea at the time" had to be followed up with, "but it clearly wasn't."

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