The Dovah Dialogues: Admitting Fault

Ahnok ahrk Rahro kogaan, My fair readers…

Dovah, as we all know, live by our language. We are able to do amazing things with our tongue, and because of the power of the tongue. With our voice, we can crush our enemies and warp time and space. We are even able to orwahl dilon – raise the dead. As such, we do not mince words. True, we can be annoyingly vague in a prophetic sort of way, but that is simply our lund, or nature. Even when we are speaking in cryptic phraseology, we are still telling the truth. Thare hi nis vothjur. This you cannot contest. When a dovah speaks, he means what he says, and he says what he means. Even Alduin, for all his evil acts, was never dishonest. He did not mince words: he told humans bluntly that those who opposed him would be devoured. Waan nunon noksenonviik lost ol delaal!

It seems to be a trend among humans, however, not to admit their mistakes or errors. Even if it is a simple misunderstanding, they would prefer to ignore it or attempt to salvage their dignity rather than say something as simple (to use human colloquialism) as “Oops, my bad.” The words “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” do not exist within their vocabulary. They are not using their tongue nor their language for its partial purpose. Just as a FUS RO DAH!! can exhibit your great power, so can “I am sorry” exhibit your great humility.

What is even more disturbing to this dovah, however, is that some of those who profess to follow God Almighty likewise have a problem with this. Some would rather ignore their faults, or pretend they do not exist. Yet others see. Others notice. Though the individual would act like a human child, covering his eyes and pretending that if he does not see something, it does not exist, such a game will not work with others. It will bring a detriment to his pursuit of glorifying God, and it will bring shame to his name. As the author of Proverbs wrote in the original dovahzul: Fod kah meyz, ruz meyz dukaan, nuz voth bonaar los onikaan. Or, for those who can only speak English: “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). If Christ were so humble as to descend from the heavens and appear in the form of a mortal human, why should we not be so humble as to admit our faults before others, especially when they have been revealed to all?

Let us invent a scenario to examine why this is wrong. Suppose we have a human who claims to be a Christian. He hears something said by another brother in Christ, and misunderstands what the gentleman says. He proceeds to misrepresent the brother’s position in front of others, and causes others to likewise misunderstand what the brother said. Finally, after much confusion, the brother in Christ comes out and clarifies what he meant, explaining his position. What does our human do? Does he apologize? Does he tell the brother in Christ something to the effect of “I am sorry for misunderstanding you, now I see what you mean”? In this scenario…no. He does not. He does not offer any apology. He offers no correction to his original statements. Others, however, take notice of this. Some ask this human to apologize to the brother in Christ, and to confess his error. He may respond to other things they have said, but that one part about an apology…the human pretends it does not exist. He completely ignores it. He acts and behaves as if no one has offered any correction, or that there is any revealed error in his part. So he continues on his life a bit like the emperor with his new clothes, having been called out naked but continuing the parade.

What sort of behavior is this like? This is certainly not an act of a humble soul. This is not the act of one who realizes he is a sinner constantly in needs of God’s grace, and hence is not afraid to add yet another sin to his registry. No, this is the act of a prideful soul. It is being subtly and indirectly dishonest. If we are to claim we are followers of he who is Truth (John 14:6), then we should seek to avoid any form of deceit, especially in regards to our own sin and dishonesty. If we do not, then we reveal what we think about such topics, and we show others what lies within our hearts. All attempts to avoid having to deal with our revealed faults will only be running from the light and hiding in the darkness. As Christ warned: pah wo dreh vokul irkbaan faal kun, ahrk dreh ni meyz wah faal kun fah faas tol ok sod fen kos gemindok; “everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed” (John 3:20).

There is a saying among dovah: Mey fund kos nahlon milaar fein onvok tozein. Roughly translated, it means, “A fool would rather be silent than admit his mistakes.” Let us strive to avoid being such fools, and let us examine ourselves to see if we have such a prideful heart. If we do, we must repent before Almighty God and ask him to instill in us a heart that seeks to care for the concerns and feelings of our brothers, and not about our own position before men. Diist kos vahraan voth hin zeymah, ahrk ruz meyz ahrk nutiid hin ofanaat; “First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” (Matt 5:24). It is such pride that brings dishonor to the name of God and causes disunity among the brethren.

Rah kog.

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Comments 4
  1. ‘a human who claims to be a christian’ – those are heavy words. if everyone who believes and tries to follow their beliefs but failed is pigeonholed into not really being the christian they claim to be, then who would be left? we quote things like ‘for all have sinned and fall short’ etc – but often when someone falls short we go ‘and they claim to be a christian’ or ‘can you believe he calls himself a believer?’ if our beliefs are whittled down to just a claim because we struggle with pride, or arent slow to anger or lash out in a moment of frustration. or we mess up in any of the thousands of ways i slip up in mind and deed every day then…well, then we’re all doomed. dragons and all.

    ive learned to quiet my judgement of someones beliefs based off of their faults. i still find myself doing it, meanwhile i have a log blocking my own vision as it is. i try to be humble and quick to apologize. i’ve learned that apologizing for our wrong doings, whether intentional or not, is as freeing and powerful as forgiveness.

    someone once summed up thoughts shared in your article as ‘wrong and strong’ i liked that.

    i fall into that often. possibly leaving others to look at my stance and love and belief as only a claim. but even so these judgments are heavy. far too heavy for us to make, since we don’t know…well anything. we weren’t around when the earth was formed and we dont know where the sun goes when the moon comes up or the origin blowing point of the wind. but also our view on someones ‘claim’ really doesnt do anything. it doesnt help us or the person we are judging. in any way. we need to just focus on ourselves and our journey.

    of course i know the schtick and that im talking to a dragon right now and thats the whole bit. no need to break character for me. my issue is just with that phrasing and nothing to do with you or the article. i was going to do my own bit about being the most humble guy i know and bragging about how humble i am and praise myself for my lack of pride…but im not sure the sense of humor of dragons and if the joke would fully be understood – especially if its only told in english, thats the only language i know.

  2. “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” -Ambrose Bierce

    ’nuff said. As Christians we should watch our words to each other. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Ja 1:19

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