For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by mischief – Proverbs 24:16 NKJV
One thing I know for sure is that in this life, we will make mistakes. Another thing I know is that we cannot dwell on those mistakes, lest we continue to make them and/or fall into the pit of regret and fear. I learned this lesson best from playing sports. Thinking back to my volleyball days, I remember getting blocked often. See, I was a powerful front row player and consistently led my teams in kills (spikes hitting the ground) and blocks. I could jump, hit the ball hard and even block the entire front row. The problem was that, without heels, I am only 5’9 1/2 (on a good day). I literally had to be quicker, hit harder, jump higher and think smarter in order to avoid the blocker on the other side of the net. When I did get blocked though, because it happens, I could not dwell on it because in a couple more plays, the ball would be set right back to me. I had to quickly make adjustments and change my strategy, even though I knew the blocker was going to be there again and again.
Coaches would always say, “Forget the Last Play!” Basically, you need a short memory to be great at sports.
This is much like life. I am willing to argue that we rarely go a day without making some type of mistake. Could be as small as forgetting to,or simply not doing something or as big as saying something really hurtful to someone. Regardless of the complexity, we all have hidden secrets and thoughts that taunt us. It’s cool to say we do not have any regrets, but I bet we can all name one thing we would like to take back. Like that thing we said, that person we hooked up with, that job we didn’t care about, (insert what you regret here). The key is, though, learn from it, forget about it, have a short memory!
My plea is that we do not let these things keep us from moving forward. Often the hardest thing for us to do is forgive ourselves. We should remember though, God has already forgiven us, because of His son Jesus. We just have to accept it. Don’t’ hang onto past mistakes. Be encouraged to know that God wants to forgive us! If He didn’t, why did
WOW! Now that seems like God wants us to depend on Him. Maybe God allows us to make mistakes so that we stay humble and are reminded that we need Him. We don’t really know what this thorn was in Paul’s flesh. Could have been a person on his nerves, could have been a bad situation, could have been some type of addiction or temptation, could have been that blocker on the other side of the net! All I know is that God left it there and said He would help deal with it. Even when we stumble a bit, the God of grace and the God of mercy has forgiven us!
Friends – Don’t worry about your mistakes, shortfalls, and stumbles. The key scripture above, Proverbs 24:16, comforts us saying that we may fall but we will rise again (well… as long as we are not wicked). Don’t live in your past. Don’t dwell on the negativity. Even in the worst sins, pray the prayer David prayed in Psalm 51: “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.” THEN, watch God’s hand of mercy move in your life!
Don’t worry about the blocker. Don’t worry about the thorn. Accept God’s mercy! Move forward with a new strategy!
Peace. Blessings. Love.