Rushing river on the way to Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs, CO

You don’t have to be afraid of mistakes

I made a mistake yesterday. Well, actually, I made the mistake about six months ago, but in my line of work, you don’t begin to experience the consequences of it until much later. It was one of those mistakes you make without realizing it. It wasn’t intentional. If anything it was accidental. But it was still a mistake–and I made it.

I hate mistakes. I hate them so much I’m often tempted to not even take risks for the fear of making the wrong move. I don’t want to make a mistake that will hurt me or hurt others, and I’d rather stay where I am–comfortable, confident, knowledgeable–than to put that safety in jeopardy. That’s the way my perfectionist brain works.

But is that how we’re supposed to live?

Rushing river on the way to Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs, CO

Rushing river on the way to Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs, CO

Today’s verses are Psalm 37:23-24.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.

Now, I’m not saying that we should live carelessly. God has given us our lives and He’s given us resources and blessings, and we should be good stewards of all that He has given us. But by that same token, remember that He’s the one who gave it, and in just about every instance in Scripture (that I can think of) when God gives somebody something, they’re expected to give it away. The people who hold on to what God’s given them are usually looked at as disobedient or unfaithful.

Have you ever thought about that?

But there’s something in me that wants to protect what God has given me. I want to keep it safe because risking it doesn’t seem like a good way to repay Him for what He’s given me.

But God didn’t give me my resources, my finances, my gifts, my blessings so that I can bury them in a coffee can in my back yard. He gave them to me so that I could invest them in other people–and investments like that never come back with a zero balance. Not where God is concerned.

So why are we afraid? If God has given us everything we have, are we afraid that we’re going to lose it all if we use it to do what He’s asked us to do? I’m all for being responsible, but what does godly responsibility look like?

This is my opinion, but I really think culture has conditioned us to fear mistakes. Nobody wants to be wrong. Nobody wants to take a wrong turn. We have GPS so we never have to experience the humiliation of turning around. We have calculators and computers to do math for us so we don’t have to worry about our equations being wrong. The whole attitude about mistakes has even extended to parents who don’t let kids experience the consequences for the things they choose to do wrong, which is another blog post entirely but is still relevant.

Mistakes aren’t bad. Honestly, mistakes are good for us.

Now, I’m not talking about the kind of “mistakes” that can wreck a life. Those aren’t mistakes. That’s sin, and there’s a big difference between the two. Mistakes can be corrected. Sin must be redeemed.

The mistake I made yesterday was stupid and careless, and I hate that I made it. Because it makes me feel stupid and careless. But you know what’s going to happen? I’m not going to make that mistake again. I’m experiencing the consequences of that mistake, and I’m going to learn from it.

That’s what mistakes are good for–teaching stubborn, hard-headed perfectionists like me that I’m not always right and that sometimes I need to drop my pride and admit when I’m wrong. Because if I can do that, I can learn something.

If you’re a Christ-follower and you’re seeking God’s will in everything you do, you don’t have to worry. What does that mean practically? That means you ask Him for direction. Literally. Just ask Him. That means you read the Bible and search for an answer to your questions, expecting to find it.

If you’re living that kind of life, don’t be afraid of mistakes. God is directing your steps, and even though you might trip, you aren’t going to fall. God won’t let you.

If you remain open to your mistakes, if you are willing to be humble and learn from them, you don’t have to be afraid of anything.

I’m really dating myself, but when I was thinking about this topic, only one song kept circling my brain. Forgive the 90s era videography and listen to the words. This is the kind of life I want to live, mistakes and all.

Door at Glen Eyrie - Colorado Springs, CO

Love is telling the truth when people don’t want to hear it

Christians aren’t perfect. We all do wrong. We all stumble and fall. Not one of us is immune. And that’s why God has given us community with other believers, so that we don’t have to face the consequences of our sin alone. Because let’s be honest here: sin has consequences. We’re not home yet, so when we choose to sin, we still have to face the results of that sin.

I blogged at the beginning of the year about how Christians need to treat each other, especially those who have fallen back into a sinful lifestyle. Galatians 6:1-10 tells us how we’re supposed to treat fallen Christians. And when I blogged on it, I really focused on the attitude Christians need to have. But I neglected to mention the attitude the Christian who chose to sin needs to have.

Galatians 6:1 says we are to help that person back on the path. That’s not a conditional statement. It doesn’t say we have to help them back on the path if we feel like or if we know them or if we feel responsible for them.

So what happens if they refuse? 

Door at Glen Eyrie - Colorado Springs, CO

Door at Glen Eyrie – Colorado Springs, CO

Today’s verses are 2 Timothy 2:25-26.

Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

Christians are to love. Period. That’s how we show we’re different. That’s how we demonstrate to the world what we believe. We love them. We love each other. We love.

But what is love? What does love look like? Is it constant forgiveness? Is it continually making allowances for another Christians’ behavior?

I don’t think so.

We’re not to judge. We are not supposed to point fingers at each other, especially in matters of the heart, because we are unable to judge someone’s heart. But the Bible specifically tells us what is right and what is wrong. God tells us how we’re supposed to live. God explains clearly what sin is. And when you know another Christian is engaging in that kind of sin, the kind of lifestyle God has already said is wrong, is it judging them to point it out?


James 5:19-20 says: “My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.”

We are all capable of sin. We all have a choice. Christians can choose whether to sin or not, and more and more, especially in the last few months, I am seeing Christians make terrible choices. Christians I have known for years and years are thumbing their noses at God and doing what they know is wrong, like they’re daring Him to do something to stop them.

Christians aren’t immune to the consequences of sin because we’re Christians. Rain falls on everybody. In Kansas, hail falls on everybody. So if you leave your car outside in a hailstorm, do you think it won’t be dented and pockmarked like a golf ball after the hailstorm is over just because you believe Christ saved you from your sins?

That’s idiotic.

And it’s the same with choosing to sin and thinking that God will protect you because you believe in Jesus.

He won’t.

If you’re faced with a Christian who is sinning and is refusing to change, how do you love them? Do you hug on them and give them presents and buy them things? Tell me. How is that love? All that will do is to encourage them to keep living the way they are living. That will push them deeper and deeper into Satan’s hold because you’re teaching them that they can live however they way, make whatever choices they want, do as much evil as they want, and they won’t have to face the consequences. And that’s not true. Because they will.

Love them by telling them the truth. Gently. Humbly. Kindly. But tell them the truth.

They sinned. They didn’t make a mistake. They didn’t make a poor choice. It wasn’t a weak moment. They knew what was right, and they chose to do wrong anyway. They sinned.

But God still loves them. You still love them. And if they will realize that what they did was wrong, God can redeem that sin. God can take that situation and make it right.

But if they refuse to change their heart, if they refuse to see that what they’ve done is wrong, there’s no help for them. And if they refuse to see the truth, God will have to make them see it. And if they really do believe in Christ, God won’t pull His punches.

If you are enabling a Christian who is sinning to keep on sinning, you are just as guilty as they are. If you are standing in between God and a Christian daughter or son that He is chastising, you are going to absorb the hit just as much as they will.

This isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing in the world to do. And if you love people as much as I do, you feel like a horrible person after you do it. But love isn’t easy. Whoever told you it was lied. It’s easy to sit back and let a Christian destroy themselves. It’s easy to watch another Christian make bad decisions and hope that it all turns out all right. It’s easy to do nothing. But that’s not love.