We’ve all felt it. That pit that you get in your stomach when you realize you’ve done something you regret or didn’t intend to do, and now it’s a full-blown mistake. I had an experience like that recently, where something that I didn’t think would be a big deal became a mistake, an err in judgment. What is considered a mistake to one person might not be to another, so I realize that it’s all relative. But what do you do when you feel like you’ve failed The Creator? The older I get, the more I realize that the gut feelings I sometimes get before making a decision can be the Holy Spirit trying to forewarn me from taking a wrong turn. It’s when I begin to rationalize my choices that I need to take a step back and determine if I am on the brink of a mistake. Rationalization isn’t confirmation. It usually means I’m about to do something I know is wrong, but I want to justify it to myself and others. When said decision turns out to be a bad mistake, I then have the shame of facing the Lord with my shabby apologies and repentance.
The good news in all this? Al Franken says, “Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.” When I feel ashamed for hurting the Lord, it reminds me that His grace is infinite and He is all about second chances. Some of the greatest heroes of the Bible were what we would deem “screw-ups”. King David was a man after God’s own heart, yet he had some doozies on his record. I guess that means I’m in good company. When I fail the One I love the most, the reminder of my need for Him and how deeply He loves me is what lifts my defeated spirit. It’s in those times that I feel a closeness to Him that can be diminished when I’m on a mountaintop. The pit can be a precious place to truly tell Him “I’m sorry” and ask forgiveness . Big mistakes can become small opportunities to learn, to serve, and to recognize that we’re more human than we often give ourselves credit for.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”