“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
Do you ever have to eat crow? I find it terribly distasteful and hard to swallow, don’t you? And who ever thought up that phrase in the first place as a euphemism for painfully admitting a mistake, guilt, or being wrong about something? Whatever, I seem to have had a steady diet of it most of my life.
It is human nature, I suppose, to want to hide our mistakes and wrongdoings. But if we don’t acknowledge them, what have we learned; for what good is a mistake if it doesn’t teach us something? And in order to learn from an error we first need to admit it — confess – then analyze it and make adjustments so as not to repeat the same mistake.
So, what I’ve learned through the years after eating many platters-full of crow is that it is sort like brussels sprouts or spinach when we’re kids. Even though it tastes awful, our mothers insisted we eat it because it’s good for us, makes us grow big and strong. Indeed, confession is good for us too, building bigger character and stronger relationships. Many years ago, I made a denigrating remark – in public no less – about one of my most dedicated staff members, not on purpose, just came out the wrong way. Being in a superior position I could have ignored it, but instead the next day I called the person aside, admitted my error, and apologized profusely. Mercifully the person accepted my apology. But what surprised me more was the respect I received, from that individual as well as others, for my admission of guilt – for eating crow – creating a level of trust with that person and my whole team like I could never have imagined.
As an adult I’ve grown rather fond of brussels sprouts and spinach, besides appreciating their contributions to my good health. Not so much so with crow, which I still find terribly distasteful and hard to swallow. But despite its awful flavor I still manage to choke some down almost every day, which I credit as a contributing factor toward my almost forty-seven years of happy, healthy marriage. It is not the soul ingredient for our long successful union, of course, but it is certainly part of the recipe – that each of us partakes of a daily serving of crow. For the old Proverb is true: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”