We All Make Mistakes

Written by M. Larson

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When I was in eighth grade, I made what I thought was an unforgivable mistake. A spelling competition between schools was coming up, and our teacher was training some of us students to compete in it. I knew she set great hopes on me, since I was quite good at spelling.

Confidently, I went with my parents and brother to the larger school where the spelling bee was being held. As we contestants stood on the stage before the crowd, I looked at the audience and felt a bit nervous.

After several other students spelled words, I was given my first word to spell. I will never forget it! It was “search”–and I esteemed it a simple word. So off I went: “S-E-A-C-H!”

It was wrong, of course. My face flushed and felt hot as I ignominiously descended from the platform. One word–and I had failed.  I failed myself, my teacher, my school, and my family who had felt sure I would be a winner.  How awful I felt that night! And how slowly I walked to school the next morning. I was a loser–big-time!

Have you ever made a big mistake? That’s a silly question, isn’t it? Let’s face it: we’re only human, and we all make mistakes, and some of them real whoppers. Some of our mistakes have been so wrong that they have perhaps hurt our lives and those of others. But we can’t take them back, any more than I could do a retake on S-E-A-R-C-H.

The truth is, the Bible says we all have “sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NIV).   That’s why Jesus Christ had to come to earth to pay the penalty for our sins, that we might be forgiven and reconciled to God. What can we do about our hurtful mistakes?

Accept Christ’s sacrifice. We can make sure that we have truly received Jesus as our Savior. This wipes the slate clean as far as God is concerned. If we err after we become Christians, we can repent and ask God’s forgiveness and determine not to repeat the error.

Accept God’s forgiveness. When we do this, He helps us know in our hearts that we are forgiven. He cleanses us of all unrighteousness, and this can give us a deep inner peace if we accept this fact.

Stop fretting about the mistakes. Worrying accomplishes nothing but to take away our joy in the Lord and our testimony. If there is something we can do about the results of our errors, we can allow the Lord to show us–and then do it. For instance, we may need to apologize to someone. We may need to humble ourselves in some way. It may cost us something; but it will be worth it. (See Matthew 5:23-48 for some guidelines.)

Get on with your life. Thanks to my parents who encouraged and comforted me, I got on with my life. Eventually I became a “dealer” in words: a writer, author, composer, speaker, and teacher.

We don’t need to wallow in the past. Hebrews 12:12 tells us to lift up our hands that hang down (in despondency) and our feeble knees, and make straight paths for ourselves. Verse 13 encourages us to live in peace with all and calls on us to be holy. Christ gives us a new life!

Questions: Are you still fretting about past mistakes? What does God want us to do about those mistakes? How does worrying effect one?

About the Author Muriel Larson

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, The Name of the Lord by Gail Rodgers, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

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