Freedom to Make and Freedom From Our Mistakes
Ever deal with past mistakes creeping into your days through insecurities and doubts? Yuck! Judah reminds us of how God sees us…mistakes and all.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden said, “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything”. I agree with Coach Wooden. Mistakes are bound to happen because we are constantly making choices and taking action. Sometimes I even feel like Linus from Charlie Brown, dragging around my list like a shameful security blanket.
So how do we move forward knowing mistakes are inevitable? How do we avoid being dragged down by ensuing guilt and shame? What do we do when Satan uses our past to cause doubt? Thankfully God’s Word tells us we have freedom from our mistakes, and here are three things we can do to access that freedom:
- RECEIVE – Our Lord has freely given us grace upon grace. He paid the penalty for our sins, once and for all, and He requires nothing of us other than to receive. It is because of this grace we have freedom…freedom even from our mistakes. We know this from Ephesians 2:8-9, “for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast”.
- REMIND – Guilt and shame are huge roadblocks Satan uses to distract us from God’s grace. However, a problem arises when we allow guilt and shame to set in… now we’re dwelling on the past instead of remembering the grace being showered upon us. Romans 8:1 says “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. We make mistakes, but we are justified through Jesus Christ. When our past (and even our present) seems to be defined by shameful decisions, we must REMIND ourselves that our past is actually defined by freedom and grace.
- RESPOND – We should respond to our mistakes by asking for forgiveness and putting them behind us. Paul puts it like this in Philippians 3: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead”. There have been multiple occasions in my life where Satan uses slip-ups from my past to create doubt in my present and future. Perhaps it’s not about trying to forget our mistakes happened, but instead remembering them as finished (over). Great teams don’t forget losses. They move on from them and even use them as a springboard toward their future goal (Just ask the San Antonio Spurs).
If our gaze is fixed behind us, how can we look ahead? We have freedom from our past and the mistakes we’ve made because of Jesus Christ and His endless grace.
When was the last time you made a mistake? What were the consequences? Even though we may still face consequences, the Bible tells us Jesus will forgive us for anything… even our worst mistakes. Now, let’s be careful with our choices and praise the Lord for His grace!