Yesterday was a day that I will not soon forget. It was a terrible day for many reasons, but something good will come of a lesson I learned and am about to share with you today, of that I am sure.
I am convinced that God is loving, kind, merciful, and forgiving. He is also just. We don’t like to talk about the “just” part much as Christians, because, well, it’s painful. It means that we have to own up to our sins and ask for forgiveness or face the consequences. Thankfully, God doesn’t expect me to be perfect, but he certainly does expect me to try my best to do what’s right in all situations.
I have done something that was so incredibly stupid and wrong that I am compelled to do whatever it takes to make it right, even if that includes publishing it on my blog. I have been feeling convicted about what I’d done long before it came out, but I had yet to take the steps to make it right, so I suppose this is God’s way of pushing me along and encouraging me to own up to my mistakes.
I have a very good friend and mentor who told me yesterday that “the road to greatness is full of swampholes and mudpuddles”. Boy, was she right. You see, I took a shortcut on the road to greatness that I deeply regret – I copied another designer’s work, making very few changes and used it for my design blog. I knew better. And I still did it. I loved her site and her creativity and I wanted it for my own. So I took it. I committed it to memory and designed one from scratch almost exactly like hers. I didn’t realize just how much it was exactly like hers until I saw them side by side and by then…well, you guessed it…I had reasoned in my mind that it was okay because I was in a hurry and I’d make some changes down the road, etc. etc. etc.
But anyone who is a child of God knows that it’s never okay to steal someone’s work. Never. My husband pointed out the fact that I’d had a warning this week on that very subject. I had a potential client contact me and ask me to duplicate one of my existing client’s blogs for her to save time so that she could get hers published faster. I said no. That was wrong – my client had paid for an original design, I wasn’t going to do that to her. I had an uneasy feeling about it too, because I knew that I had done that for myself. Yet I made no move to do the right thing.
So today, I’m making things right. I may lose a ton of my blogging friends and followers, and even clients because of this, but I honestly feel this is the right thing to do. Repentence is not about morals. It is not about good behavior. It is not about doing better. Repentance is a matter of the heart and we need to see our inability to change ourselves without God’s help.
Painful? Yes, without a doubt. But I submit that if God can use me as an example to keep others from taking a shortcut, whether it be in designing or writing, or child-rearing…then let it be so.
And as a side note to Amy, the beautiful designer who discovered that I’d done this – thank you. Thank you for your post and I do hope you can forgive me.
To all of my blogging friends, I hope you can forgive me as well. I feel deeply remorseful about what I’ve “preached” against doing for so long. Can you ever forgive me?
Mrs LemonOctober 30, 2008 at 10:29 am (15 years ago)
Well done, Karen. The scripture that comes to my mind just now is the one about restoring a brother after they stumble. I’m a rather new-ish reader, but this post doesn’t revolt me or make me want to stop following you.
I really respect you for posting this.
JeniOctober 30, 2008 at 1:57 pm (15 years ago)
What a brave woman you are, Karen. I'm glad you got this out in the open – confession is the first step towards forgiveness & healing. Owning up to our mistakes, even (maybe especially) the big ones only draws us closer to God.
KarenOctober 30, 2008 at 2:07 pm (15 years ago)
Thank you for showing us what it means to make amends. There is so much more to being sorry than “being sorry.” I am sure you will see blessings from your obedience to God’s tug on your heart.
grammyOctober 30, 2008 at 2:58 pm (15 years ago)
Bless your heart. You did the right thing, but the very hardest thing imaginable. Telling everyone. I would have been so tempted to just tell the few I needed to and God and be done. Hopefully you will turn on a little swicth that might cause others to look at their own life and say, hmmm, maybe I should fix that. Thank you sweetie.
Lora Lynn @ VitafamiliaeOctober 30, 2008 at 3:17 pm (15 years ago)
You’re a brave girl. And lovely, too.
Always Been DifferentOctober 30, 2008 at 6:37 pm (15 years ago)
Karen you are no different than me or anyone else because “WE ALL have sinned…” and you have shown once again what true repentance is all about 🙂
I love you my friend and you better not change either one of my blogs (Big Wide Grin)
EmilyOctober 30, 2008 at 7:05 pm (15 years ago)
We all make mistakes, Karen. The difference from there is just in how wedeal with it. I think you’re dealing with this mistake really well — it speaks to your integrity.
Mocha with LindaOctober 30, 2008 at 8:49 pm (15 years ago)
Wow. You made God smile today. What a wonderful example of true repentance and integrity.
LonaOctober 31, 2008 at 7:01 am (15 years ago)
Good for you, girl. What an ouchy lesson…but the long-term fruit will be worth the momentary pain.
LeAnnaOctober 31, 2008 at 8:32 am (15 years ago)
I could list scripture after scripture in the Proverbs that go something like… “humility comes before honor…” and “with humility comes wisdom…”.
Aren’t you so glad we serve a loving Father who doesn’t kick us when we’re down, but instead He gives us the promises that we’ll actually benefit spiritually from our bites of humble pie? Not only that, but when we repent we are offered life. And best of all, just as we are instructed in humility, he instructs those to whom receive the plea of repentance, to forgive.
You did the right thing, and your integrity speaks volumes!
Blessings to you,
MzzterryOctober 31, 2008 at 10:44 am (15 years ago)
Bless you and thanks for your transparency.I shall throw no stones, seeing as how I haven’t achieved perfection in my life either =). you are an inspiration, love to you.
DevotedOctober 31, 2008 at 11:46 am (15 years ago)
1 John 1:9 I love it when I see the Word in action! Matthew 6:14 also says “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. You have done a good thing here. May God richly bless you and yours. 😀
Headless MomNovember 1, 2008 at 9:50 am (15 years ago)
“Well done, good and faithful servant.” What an excellent example of humility, and ultimately, God’s grace, that we can lay it down before the cross and be forgiven. You have obviously repented in your heart, and now out in the open. An admirable thing, indeed.
MelADramatic MommyNovember 3, 2008 at 12:21 am (15 years ago)
Some of the best lessons are the hardest. Good for you for taking responsibility and in such a public way.
JendiNovember 4, 2008 at 9:55 am (15 years ago)
You can’t make me stop reading, though. 🙂
I even read the political post.