For the past few weeks, the writer/sharer/encourager/writer (wait, did I already mention that?? :D ) in me has been deeply longing to do a post!! :( But, as I mentioned here and here, I have had little inspiration and no post “of substance” to write :(. While I have been taking steps to ‘fixing’ that issue, the fact is that No. 1) the problem is not fixed (yet! :D) (Or at least not to Katie-perfectionist standards… :( … which is an entirely different blog-post in itself!!!) So No. 2) the well is still dry!
But, at long last, the other night, the inspiration for a blog-post hit…
In the form of an utter failure
Like, one of those, "hurt-your-testimony, be-a-terrible-example, two-year-old-reaction" type moments.
Yeah. It was bad. :( I embarrassed myself. Which added to the unpleasantness that caused my reaction in the first place. Not fun.
What happened, you may be asking?
I LOST MY TEMPER. Big time.
Now, none of us are perfect. We are but dust, born with a sin nature that fights against us every day, and are prone to falling (making mistakes)—over and over and over again. It’s normal. Often, it’s expected. Failing is even a big part of how we grow and become better and become more like Christ. As we make mistakes, when we do wrong, we learn what is wrong or what doesn't work and learn not to do those things again. (Or at least to strive not to!!!)
BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE SIN OKAY. Just because it is human and everybody does it from time to time, it DOESN'T MAKE IT ACCEPTABLE or excusable. It doesn't make “blow it” moments less wrong, or less ugly, or as often happens, less hurtful. And it doesn't always erase the consequences either.
My point being? Don’t be too hard on yourself (i.e. expect/strive overly hard for perfection and then beat yourself down into the dirt when you humanly miss the mark) but do own your mistakes, and yes *gulp*, even the occasional consequence.
Sin is sin. WE ALL DO IT (and God understands Psalm 103:14)
(But He is HOLY) and IT IS STILL WRONG.
DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF, BUT DON’T MAKE EXCUSES.
(This is one of those “fine line”, “let your moderation be known unto all men” situations. We can’t swing too far one way or to the other.)
This is part of what I learned through blowing it (And again, when I say “I blew it”, I mean, full out, disrespectfully cutting someone down—who had unknowingly offended me—and doing so in a raised and angry tone of voice. And ungracefully doing so in front of two of my younger and impressionable sisters … :( No. Definitely not one of my finer moments :( What is that verse about an angry woman??? Proverbs 21:19, Proverbs 21:9 and Proverbs 25:24, Proverbs 19:13; Proverbs 27:15-16, Proverbs 31:26)
I learned, am learning, that everybody messes up, nobody’s perfect, and not to berate myself when I do it. I shouldn’t wallow in how horrid I am for doing wrong. Instead I need to get up, go, and work on not doing that wrong again. (John 8:11) However, ‘blowing it’ is still wrong, whether I (we) mean to or not, and sometimes consequences need to be paid, occasionally restitution needs to be given, and almost always, apologies need to be said. Your mistakes can’t and shouldn't ruin your life (“I keep messing up! Why go on trying to do better? I never seem to succeed!” mentality) (Philippians 3:13-14) but they still need to be owned.
This is a hard concept to grasp. It’s too slippery. (For me at least! If it is easier for you to grasp, then give praise to God that He has given you more maturity concerning this! :D) It is hard for me to grasp the concept that God is Holy and Just… and yet He is a God of grace and unconditional love! WOW! I belong to a Savior who is 100% Holy and therefore cannot tolerate my sin, yet 100% understanding Psalm 103:14, Hebrews 4:15, and 100% unconditional, sacrificial Love—Love that provided a way to atone, cover, and cleanse me from that sin!
I’m human. I’m flesh and blood. I strive to do what is right as laid out in God’s Word. But I make mistakes, and occasionally? I blow it. Ask my family. (okay, wait! one second thought, please don't! lol) I feel like a failure and like a mess. Totally ashamed of my behavior. But my God, who cannot tolerate sin, still loves me, picks me up, forgives me, and tells me to “try again”. No condemnation, but GRACE.
Is this you, dear sister? Have you blown it today? Yesterday? Last week?
Maybe like me, you blew up in anger…and then quickly regretted it. Perhaps you told that lie or snubbed that friend. Maybe you nursed that grudge (ouch!) or listened to that station or watched that show or picked up that magazine even though you've repented for it and decided “no more!” time and time again. Maybe you yelled at a brother, a sister, a spouse… Perhaps I haven’t named it, but you know. You know what you did.
Can I tell you something?
Yes. What you did was wrong. Call a spade a spade. But then confess it (to God and to the people you wronged), ask for forgiveness, and then forsake it!!!
Because GOD HAS!!!
You may have failed this time, this test, but that doesn't mean you failed the class—that doesn't make you a failure!! There will be another test, another day, and you’ll have another chance.
And perhaps, armed with His Grace and the lesson you learned this time, you’ll pass that test with flying colors! :D