Several years ago, when emails were becoming mainstream, a colleague of mine was sharing a disturbing bit of information that his son, a computer software programmer, discovered. His son described a program that allowed the recipient of an email to recover the deletions of the original email. In other words, if I was composing an email and made several edits before sending the final message, the recipient could apply this program to the email and see all of the edits that were made.
I was dumbfounded! There is barely anything I write in an email or other electronic computer document, like this blog, that does not go through multiple revisions. I would be mortified if anyone read my unedited writings. I would be instantly shamed and canceled by today’s woke culture. Colleagues and friends would undoubtedly be offended, even unforgiving. I doubt I would ever again compose an email or electronic document until I completely wrote it out in another document, edited it, then sent it.
I never witnessed this program and a current search of the internet for the existence of such a program yielded nothing. However, the possibility that such a program could exist was chilling. All of my errors of omission and commission would be laid bare.
I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.
2 Corinthians 7:8-9 (NLT)
When the Apostle Paul wrote his second letter to the Corinthian church, he acknowledged that his first letter caused a great deal of pain for the recipients. No doubt, Paul was careful in his selection of words, possibly editing it before writing or dictating the final copy, yet it still caused grief. Paul was not apologetic for his words for he had a greater purpose in mind.
For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT)
I truly wish my purposes for writing my blogs were as noble as the Apostle Paul but I often fall short. I don’t know whether a program exists that can reveal all of my edits but I do know that God knows all of my intentions and only through the power of His Holy Spirit, will I be able to honestly present what He has done in my life. God reveals the deletions, the unedited and raw sins of my life.
Even if what I initially write is the truth, I need to be discerning over how I present it. Modifications, edits, rewrites. Yet, in spite of my best efforts, how often have I hurt someone by what I have written in some of my blogs? Some of these blogs have elicited derision or pushback. I acknowledge and apologize for any offense taken. Yet, the harshness that may be apparent in some of these blogs is usually directed toward myself. It is only through many painful experiences of life that God has brought me to the sorrow of repentance. It is only by His grace and mercy that He allows me to share these experiences. I am still learning and I continue to ask God for forgiveness for anything that I write that does not properly honor Him. I need to continually repent of my sins and God has used my sorrow to transform me into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.