Time is running out, and the quarterback makes a quick split-second decision. He throws the ball to an open man. The only problem, the guy is on the other team. Thus it begins, and it plays on repeat on a giant screen for all to see. Over and over for days, people talk about how horrible the play went. Suddenly the 15 other positive moments in the game seem to disappear, and all attention is focused on the mistake.
While my fitness goals are going forward, I certainly am not a quarterback, but I nevertheless found myself having a Jumbotron moment this week. I was at my weekly volunteer post doing my best to keep things orderly and help as many people through the line with as positive an experience as possible. It was time to take a new group up. I was diligently counting to 80 to make sure that there were enough seats. Suddenly, four people from the back of the room came forward and insisted that they had to be in this specific group. There were others who had been waiting longer, so I promised they could get into the next group and proceeded along with what I was doing.
After the group left, I came downstairs and one of the members of the group came up to me and told how horrible the thing was that I had just done. She proceeded to explain that she had been in a different group that had run out of chairs and had been sent back down to wait. However, instead of being seated in the front, she had been sitting in the back of the room. She burst into tears and told me how deeply I had offended her.
If that wasn’t enough to make me want to die of embarrassment, a fellow volunteer retold the story to every single person she could see. She must have told at least 6 other people how I had messed up within about 6 minutes. She then came and told me another five or six times how I needed to do better in the future.
When I first made the mistake, I felt badly, but decided I had done my best and tried to move on. However, the more this was brought to my attention, the worse and worse I felt. It seemed like I had ruined this woman’s life somehow, and I eventually did end up in tears myself. Then a thought came to my mind. “Unplug the Jumbotron.” It was simple. The Lord knew my heart and had forgiven the mistake. All I needed to do was to stop replaying the sin over and over again in my mind.
God has given us the opportunity to repent, but sometimes we don’t allow ourselves or others to do so. We get so caught up in the details or the stories that we forget the important moment,- the one where God forgives and forgets. I say “we,” because I know I have been guilty of it myself many times.
There is a fine balance with judgment. We learn in Moroni 7:16 that the way to judge is to find out if it invites us to do good, or persuades us to believe in Christ. If so, we can “know with a perfect knowledge it is of God” Do your judgments invite us to do good? Do they persuade ourselves or others to come to Christ?
In my mind one of the biggest Jumbotrons we face is the gossip mill. We don’t always replay other’s mistakes in front of their faces, but we do make sure that everyone sees. Dieter F. Uchtdorf once said, “When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: Stop it!” The next time we are tempted to repeat someone’s mistakes, Stop it, and unplug the Jumbotron!
This applies also to us individually. Sometimes there is no more harsh a critic than ourselves . Satan would have us replay our own sins on the Jumbotron of life so that we feel guilt or shame. He would want us to be embarrassed. God on the other hand would want us to come to him and be healed. If it has been a while since you have unplugged your Jumbotron, I invite you to find the plug, and if you are struggling with replaying other’s sins over and over, please pull the plug. When you can’t find the cord, or feel too weak to pull it out ask the Savior, He can help.
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.