I Didn’t Mean To!

“For the honor of your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭25‬:‭11‬ ‭

I found these today.

Aphids, hanging around on the bottom of a cyclamen leaf, convinced they had an open invitation to be there.

They didn’t.

So I grabbed my trusty yellow bottle. End All, a safe way to treat unwanted (and uninvited!) insect pests on plants.

Psh, psh, psh! (You have to read that in a dramatic sound effects voice.)

Bugs, begone! (Equally dramatic! Pause and flourish for emphasis!)

But wait!

Several things are vaguely niggling at the edges of my subconscious.

One. It seems like the leaves are wetter than they usually get when I’ve applied this product before. Odd.

Two. There is a smell I didn’t expect. More odd still.

Three. I know that smell. Heart is now sinking into toes and pounding strangely.

And the Grand Finale – the moment when time slows to a standstill and I look down at the label on the yellow spray bottle in my hand.


(Insert dramatic scream!)


Not good not good not good not good not GOOD!

I dumped the three pots affected into the sink. I gave them a gentle shower. I rinsed and rinsed and I really really really really really hope I didn’t kill them!

I didn’t mean to hurt you, I say aloud in my kitchen. I meant to help you. It’s not my fault!

Except – it is.

My fault, I mean.

Oh, I hadn’t set out this morning to kill a few plants, but that’s what may have happened anyway. Only time will tell what damage got inflicted by my error.

And as always, it’s gotten me to thinking.

How much damage have I done to people, not on purpose?




See, we think we’re pretty ‘good’ because we know our own intentions. We don’t stab people, even when provoked. We put grocery carts back. We pay our taxes and donate old clothes to charity.

But I absolutely guarantee that we’ve all hurt someone else, whether willingly or inadvertently.

And it counts, friend.

It counts as sin.

Anything we’ve done that has broken one of God’s laws is wrong whether it was deliberate or not.


Sometimes we wonder – why is this happening to me? I’ve been taken advantage of! I’ve been trampled on! I’ve been cheated, abused, neglected, overlooked, wrongly accused, harassed –

You get the idea.

I’m a good person! They can’t do this to me!

Ah, but we’ve done it too.

Unknowingly piled extra stress onto shoulders already fatigued. Said the wrong thing at the wrong time and caused distress and shame. Taken the parking spot someone else was eyeing up before we got there because we just didn’t see them – or because we assumed our need was the greater! Forgotten an appointment and put someone else out. Barged in on a situation we didn’t understand and dealt with it ungraciously.

Let’s face it. We all are guilty.

The thing is – none of us are truly good. Only God can claim that title. Even our good intentions are clouded over with selfish pride and blindness to the needs of others.

Here’s the thing.

We’ve all given someone a strong dose of Lysol when what they needed was a gentle hand and some compassionate nursing when they were under attack.

Which is why I love these words from Psalm 25 so much!

Forgive me my many, many sins. There are just so many, when you count up even the ones I never planned on!

Forgive me.

Asking for forgiveness requires a posture of humility. It acknowledges the harm done. It accepts responsibility for our actions.

And it puts us right smack in the middle of God’s grace! Because the amazing thing is, none of this forgiveness depends on my good behaviour!

It’s because of God’s character that He forgives. It has nothing to do with how much we grovel or make promises of change.

Aren’t you glad?

That just blesses my socks off today. Because even when I didn’t mean to mess up, when I come to God in humble repentance, I get that ‘stuck-in-the-sink-and-freshly-rinsed-off’ cleansing that I really need to move forward into health and growth.

Ah, friend.

Come for cleansing regularly with me?

Father, we mess up. A lot. Even when we don’t mean to! Forgive us. Wash us clean and refresh our spirits so that we can step i to the lives You’ve called us to. Amen.

Published by melodylowes

I am actually a bit of a mess. But in the mess, I’m finding security in knowing I am chosen, I am forgiven, and I matter. After uncovering a history of abuse in my past, I have done a lot of healing - and writing is one way I can invite you deeper into your own healing journey! I write devotionals about the complicated thing called life at growing-in-grace.ca, and my poetry is stashed at melodylowes.com. Pull up a chair and a coffee or tea and let's grow together!

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