I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life but tonight I’m going to write about my biggest mistake. Ooooh scandalous, I know.
There are often subjects I come across that I feel like I don’t have the authority to write about. Partly because of insecurities but mostly because I never want to make blanket statements about a subject. This has lead to my two month writers block and complete avoidance of Adulting Gracefully. I realized I was waiting for someone to ask me to write about something, so I could have permission, and stopped writing about the things that I needed to hear myself (and maybe others did too).
But mistakes are something I sure can write about. The truth is we all can. Which is why I have found a love for mistakes. That’s right, I said a love for them. It’s so equalizing, so humbling and unintimidating when we realize we all make mistakes. Every one of us. It makes us all more lovable in each others eyes. What’s even more beautiful? Our Father has never made one single teeny tiny mistake, including forgiving us for our sins.
There is no mistake that we can make that screws us with our relationship with God. There is no point system, no chances to run out of, no shocking thing you or I could do that makes God say, “Well, I tried but she won’t ever learn. I’m done.” You might be reading this, hearing that truth for the first time or you might be rolling your eyes (which isn’t very nice) and thinking this is Bible 101. But this concept took me years to grasp even though I had heard it practically my whole life.
The mercy and love of God isn’t the point of this post (when though it’s an important point). The question I want to ask is what are we going to do with that mercy and love? I look back on my short 23 years of life and I can positively say there is one mistake that I’ve made that has been the biggest one of all.
I’ve let my mistakes have power as if they aren’t already forgiven.
I’ve gone a lot of years, tears, and sleepless nights agonizing over stupid things or harmful things I’ve done. I’m the queen of not forgiving myself and that has hurt me more than any single mistake ever has.
I don’t think God wants us to continue asking for forgiveness over and over about the same mistake we made 3 years ago.
Think about it this way — a child colored on the couch and of course the parent forgave them because they love them unconditionally. But then for the rest of their lives, they lulled around with this guilt that they colored on the couch 50 years ago. Sounds petty and dramatic right?
I’m not saying our mistakes won’t cause others and ourselves pain. There are always consequences and I don’t mean to diminish that. But how often have we not forgiven ourselves for something even though God has? Moping around, thinking less of ourselves, losing our confidence. It’s selfish. It belittles God’s love for us.
Tetelestai means “It is finished” or “Paid in full”. It was Jesus’s last word on the cross. It is done. Our sins are forgiven. We can’t work to earn love of God so we should stop feeling sorry for ourselves, thinking we aren’t the bees knees (cause we are!).
That horrible thing you did years ago or an hour ago is forgiven. We need to stop moping around as if we have the burden to sin to bear. We need to stop forgetting what Jesus did for us and then be reminded again just on Easter only to forget the next time we screw up.
We should be the most forgiving people. Forgiving others and forgiving ourselves because that’s what has been done for us. We need to stop trying to earn a gift that’s already been given. Let’s stop waisting our time on hating ourselves for mistakes we’ve made and use our freedom to love others radically.