We’ve all had awkward moments:

  • In 8th grade, I threw up a beautiful shot … in the wrong basket.
  • I was asked to officiate at a funeral for a person I did not know. The funeral director gave me the wrong name that I promptly used throughout the service.
  • In my first wedding, I solemnly switched a key phrase – Instead of “What God has joined together …” I began with “What God has torn asunder.”

You’ve had them, too.

  • Perhaps you burst out laughing at a funeral.
  • Perhaps you began to sing loudly when no one else had started.
  • Perhaps the person you asked out for a date thought you were kidding.
  • Perhaps your boss sent you a friend request on Facebook.
  • Perhaps you’re Steve Harvey and you announce the wrong winner at the Miss Universe pageant.
  • Perhaps you’re Brooke Shields in a public announcement spot: “Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.”
  • Perhaps you’re Dan Quayle, who began a speech at NASA: “My fellow astronauts …”

Awkward, embarrassing, hard-to-recover-from moments of life happen. You hope people around you are kind, understanding, and compassionate … or not. When I returned to school after my goof at the basketball game, one of my coaches was waiting to christen me with a new nickname – “Wrong Way Wilbanks.” Tough for a 13 year-old boy to handle.

We should strive to show more grace in the awkward moments. You won’t meet a person who hasn’t stumbled or blown it or messed up. Jesus had a way of dealing with such things: “Treat others as you wish to be treated.”

A sign of a maturing person – if everybody’s laughing, you might as well join in. It may lessen the sting a bit.

This entry was posted in Commentary on by .

About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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