The Apology We Should Have Seen from Jared Wilson
UPDATE: Jared posted a genuine apology and removed the original post. I really appreciate what he said and accept his explanation for leaving the original post up for a time. Thank you Jared.
have been thinking a lot about Jared Wilson and wondering what he really thinks, in the privacy of his thoughts, about his blogosphere-infamous post about sex and submission (the post has now been taken down). I don’t know why he chose to ignore the push-back and why he did not apologize, retract, or rewrite.
I want to believe the best about him. I want to believe that he loves God, the people in his church (he is a pastor), and the people who read his blog. I want to believe that he is truly heart-broken over miscommunicating in such a painful way on a most intimate topic. I choose to believe, even if he never says it in public, that this is what he would say.
I have made a terribly hurtful mistake in my most recent post. I chose words that triggered painful memories of past (or present) abuses. I used phrases that didn’t communicate what I intended –- that in fact communicated exactly the opposite of what I intended. The message many of you got was not the message in my mind and heart when I wrote. While it was an honest mistake, that doesn’t change the reality that my words caused some of you pain, anger, and confusion. It grieves me deeply that something I wrote has hurt anyone, especially in such a vulnerable and sensitive area.
Please forgive me.
My response has been slow because I’ve was completely caught off guard. I should have said something sooner, but this was the last thing I expected and it took some time to really understand and accept what I had done. I do not yet know the best way to express what I had originally intended. I am still absorbing all that has been said here. I am considering the advice of others who understand what I was trying to say and at some point, I will either edit my words and repost them, or I will remove them permanently.
Jared C. Wilson
If you write or speak for long, you will miscommunicate. It’s part of the process. I often hear from readers (friends, family, and random strangers) that what I thought was the most clear, well-articulated essay ever hurtled them in a completely different direction than I intended.
Words mean something. In a perfect world, they would have objective and clear definitions that we all know. Instead, we bring our personal baggage and unique connotations to words and phrases. This can spin ideas into an infinite number of directions, none of which were envisioned by the author.
One of the tasks of a communicator is to learn which words are clearest for the most people and use those. The hardest part about this is that we learn it through trial and error. You and I both get it wrong, discover we’ve been horribly misunderstood, and try again. Sometimes, we hurt people, and we must apologize and make it right. I’ve had to do this, and every blogger I know who has written more than a few posts has had to do it too.
I wish that Jared (and Doug) Wilson had acknowledged this and made a simple gesture. I know I would have understood and extended grace. I still will. It isn’t too late. It is never too late to admit we’ve been wrong and to ask for forgiveness.