Hebrews 12:11 (NKJV) Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
No matter how much education a person has had—practical experience is a key element to success. And what is experience? Most definitions will say the word means something personally encountered or lived through.
You may have a lot of experience you’d rather not talk about. We all do. It’s hard to believe some of the things we may have done when we were not interested in God’s ways. Most of us wish we hadn’t made so many wrong decisions and mistakes.
Now, you can listen and/or read!
No one goes through life and never makes mistakes. Experience isn’t accomplished by flawless attempts to ‘live through’ something. Usually experience is gained through a lot of trial and error. Any successful, honest person will tell you they didn’t get to where they are by being perfect. Even though many people strive for perfection and try with all their heart to do things right—they still make mistakes…sometimes without realizing it. It’s actually normal to think what you are in the act of doing, is right. Hardly anybody sets out to fail. It’s after a mistake has been made—later in time—that an error may be realized.
There’s a difference between a mistake and sin. ‘Sin’ is when we are fully aware that what we are about to do is wrong and we do it anyway. A mistake is something that seemed right to us—but, wasn’t.
Proverbs 14:12 says, There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death. So, just because something seemed right and wasn’t, doesn’t mean there might not be harmful consequences. An honest mistake can create lots and lots of problems and lead to a chain of unfortunate events.
So, aside from the sin—how can we live with the mistakes we’ve made? How can we not be ashamed of some of the ridiculous wrongs we did? How can there be any hope for someone who failed so miserably—all the while, thinking they were doing something they thought was right?
I love the comfort given in Romans chapter five:
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
I would like to paraphrase that passage:
Because we have made the decision to be joined to God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we can have peace with all of the sins we have committed and also the mistakes we’ve made. Because of the forgiveness and cleansing we have received through the blood of Jesus and His sacrifice—we have undeserved favor in our present circumstances and can expect a happy and fulfilled future as we give God praise and thanks for His great love and kindness. In addition, we can actually praise God for the trials we have been through and our mistakes, knowing that those trials and mistakes have given us the knowledge we needed to become less impulsive. Because we now know we should live cautiously and not recklessly, our knowledge and experience has given us wisdom and a greater understanding of how to live in right ways that will lead to better results in the future. We can have peace with our imperfection and not be ashamed of our sin or the mistakes we’ve made, because we have the abiding assurance of everlasting salvation and have chosen to be filled with the Holy Spirit—who was given and sent for the purpose of enabling us to fully receive the transforming love of God completely into our hearts.
After a few days at my first ‘real job’, my boss needed a letter typed right away. This was back in the days when you actually typed on paper with a typewriter. The typewriter I had to use was not ‘self correcting’. My typing was not terrible, but I had made a few mistakes and had to erase the mistyped letters and retype them. I was concerned because I wanted the letter to be perfect. I was mourning my mistakes and a co-worker made me feel better when he said, “If you don’t make mistakes, it means you’re not doing anything”.
Declaration: I will find new strength by believing God can create a good future for me—in spite of me and my best efforts—which don’t always turn out right. I will learn and grow from my experience and keep moving forward.
If you subscribe to New Strength, a new segment will come to your email each day.
For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, browse:http://www.youtube.com/view_all_playlists
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.