Humans are messy and make mistakes. It has been that way since Adam and Eve. I guess it is the human flaw. But it is present in all of us. Trying to miss the mistakes in life is like getting through an unknown minefield. It isn’t likely.
Here are some things I think of when pondering the reality that humans are messy and make mistakes:
- God forgives our every mistake if we turn to Christ and give Him our life.
- We are harder on ourselves and we don’t let go of our mistakes. If we are white as snow in Jesus’ eyes, we are black as coal to ourselves or another judging human.
- If we spend all of our time focusing on the mistake and not all of the other non-mistake moments, we:
- Let Satan rob our lives.
- We enlarge the mistake to impact our future, not just our past.
- We create a self-fulfilling prophesy that we are a sum of our mistakes.
- Our fear of repeating our making mistakes can cause us to miss the life we were supposed to lead, and possibly avoid living out God’s plan for us. Moses tried this multiple times. He was afraid and felt unworthy to do God’s work with Pharaoh. He had the audible voice of the Lord pushing him through, though. We may not hear the audible voice of God, but we need to be open and present in our time with God to listen for His will and plans for us.
- Being refined is messy business. The potter makes a mess when he creates his pieces. Artists are known for their creative-right-brained disorganization and beautiful chaos. When life feels like a mess, it may be the surface of God’s greatest work in you.
I have made my share of mistakes. To me they are really messy and obvious and damaging. That is how they look to me. It is weird though, and probably another human condition, that others don’t see things through the same lens that we see ourselves. I had a boss once that I highly respected. She made the comment once, almost as a criticism, that I had never made any big mistakes. In a tone of “how would you know how it feels”? It bothered me greatly on several fronts:
- One is that it just wasn’t true.
- Secondly, was I just spending my time hiding my mess?
- Lastly, I had been working so hard to not make more mistakes, and now this too seemed wrong.
In Christ, I believe that we are forgiven and made clean again….white as snow. I know in the world we live in it is not going to be possible to not be a mess at times and to mess up at other times. It is who I am and what I do. Both.
But if Christ forgives us…..if God gave us His son so we could be freed from our mess….it just doesn’t feel right to allow Satan to take away God’s greatest gift to us. I feel like we have to fight through the mess and accept ourselves (and each other) for the humans we are. We need to show and share the grace and mercy of Christ to ourselves and others.
It is Adam and Eve’s legacy. We became messy and mistake-ridden. I am quite sure that Adam and Eve wanted to take it back. They wished they had ignored Satan. But hiding from God didn’t work for them, and it won’t work for us.
My goal in all of this is hard to express. I think it comes down to this:
I don’t believe that God wants us to hide our mistakes, He knows about them anyway. Although we all want less mess and fewer crisis in our own lives, we can’t focus all of our energy and life on avoiding and protecting and hiding.
I think we need to lean in. Listen for God’s voice. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Move forward with a prayer for God’s will and step out in faith to lead the life that we were meant to. It may be a quiet life, but we can lead it boldly.
Not with the belief that God will help us avoid the pitfalls in this life. No, with the trust that we can do more good in the world, glorify Him, and know that we will have some meaningful moments, between the mistakes, and all up in the mess of life.