As Christians, we make mistakes in life. After all, we’re human, and no one is perfect. But what you have to ask yourself is, have you learned anything from your mistakes? Not only that, do you also have the desire to use what you have learned for good?
I have made many mistakes in my life. At times, particularly when I was young, I listened to the wrong voices and made some very poor choices. My childhood wasn’t particularly the best, and I longed for acceptance and made some poor choices in friends. I was shy, lacked confidence, and I easily succumbed to peer pressure to do things that I ultimately regretted – all to show my friends that I was “cool.” Right around my 15thbirthday, my life came to a fork in the road. This is when I had a brush with the law as a juvenile. I like to think this is where God intervened in my life. He set me on the right path to break away from those who would bring me down, and to strive to do better with my life. Sure, I would continue to make mistakes during my life, but I always tried to learn from them, and to stay on the path that God had set before me. Trusting in God is a choice to have faith in what He says, even when your feelings or circumstances would have you believe something different, like making mistakes. Mistakes, and learning from those mistakes, can indeed give you the power to turn you into something better than you were before. God is always with you, and He will restore and strengthen you.
A former professional colleague of mine, William E. Moberly, is now an Associate Pastor at St. Matthew’s UMC in Annandale, VA. Bill posted these words on Facebook a number of years ago, 2014 to be exact, and I have taken inspiration from them ever since: “God wants you to know that even when you do something wrong, even when you fail, even when you make poor choices, you are loved. God is not a punitive. No doubt you will punish yourself enough for your mistakes. The question is: Will you try to do the right thing next time? Will you learn from your mistakes? Will you keep on loving and caring to the best of your ability?”
PSALM 37:23-24 (NIV)
The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
I come humbled before you because I have made many mistakes in my life. You have forgiven me for those mistakes. You took my hand and lead me to the right path. You have granted me the strength and humility to learn from those mistakes, and to bless those who have helped me along the way. Help us to have love for one another, to have forgiveness in our hearts, and to build kindness into every day. In Jesus’ name we pray.