Few things are as routine in baseball as a popup on the infield. Few things are more surprising in baseball than a botched popup on the infield. Missed popups, ones that fall between two infielders, those that cause awkward collisions and backward rolls…these are fodder for the blooper reel. I’ve had it happen to me on occasion. After the initial embarrassment of it, the first instinct is to avoid responsibility, to blame something or someone else for the mistake.

The sun got in my eyes.

He called it.

I heard footsteps.

It wasn’t my ball to begin with.

I slipped.

It was a high sky.

I’ve heard them all and used them all. None of them, however, change the fact that a routine popup fell to the ground. None of them reduce the ire of the coach in the dugout.

There is only one worthy course of action after a mistake on a routine popup: own it. “I missed it. It’s my fault. I’m sorry.”

Proverbs 6:3–“Do this…and free yourself…Go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor” (HCSB).

That’s the prescription for how to make things right when you’ve made a mistake against someone. That’s the path of freedom. Humble yourself. Own it. Admit it. Ask for forgiveness.

Ignoring issues won’t make them go away. Pretending you didn’t mess up only makes things worse. Making excuses for your behavior only irritates those whom you have offended.

In most cases, a person is willing to forgive when you own it and apologize. And, even when others won’t forgive you, God promises to do so (see 1 John 1:9).

No more hiding from our mistakes. No more shifting blame. No more excuses. No more dodging responsibility. You missed a popup. You know it. They know it. God knows it. Humble yourself. Own it. Admit it. Ask forgiveness. God’s grace is enough to cover even the popups you hate yourself for missing, even the ones that have cost you and those around you tremendously. He will forgive. He will never stop loving you.

Here’s a prayer:

Lord Jesus, I’ve missed more than my fair share of popups in life. I’ve made excuses. I’ve dodged responsibility. I’ve pretended like I wasn’t at fault. But, I now admit my sin to you. I need your love, grace, and forgiveness to make me new again. I can’t take back what I’ve done, but I am trusting that you will forgive every time. Thank you for loving me, even when I miss a popup. Amen.