A better answer

Our biggest mistakes are our condemnation
Our littlest mistakes drown our ambition
Other’s take our happy satisfaction

There is a better answer
To the cancer that eats away our bones
Better than the sticks and stones
It washes away what we’ve done
Allows our hearts to become undone
Exposes everything under brilliant sun
Giving us a life to be redone

Our distant future is worrisome
Our next day is bothersome
Past days steal what should be home

There is a better answer
To the cancer that eats away our bones
Better than the sticks and stones
It washes away what we’ve done
Allows our hearts to become undone
Leaves a future with hope to become
Giving us a life to be redone

A lot of times we seem to be in crossroads of growing spiritually, but inevitably thrown down by the mistakes we make. It’s the process I’m in currently – making lots of mistakes and having to work through them. Last summer, that process almost killed me spiritually and this time it would be the same case. What is changing? Learning instead of bashing myself, mulling over the guilt of what I’ve done, thinking God doesn’t love me, and that He can’t use me that His love and grace remain no matter what. It’s super fundamental, but utterly life changing. It’s one of the first steps to initiating real change in our lives.

Mistakes are a part of life just like they are an integral part of the game of soccer (or football). A major part of what determines a team that will win is how they respond to making mistakes. For a real world example, let’s take the Women’s World Cup. A great game between two stellar teams was played. Both desperately wanted to win the game, of course. One team was excelling at the beginning of the game, making many opportunities to score leaving the other team to just try to stay afloat. All of those missed opportunities, or mistakes in some cases left the team with the advantage at the beginning (and in the cases where they scored) starting to get sloppy and desperate. Every time one team scored, the other came right back. Both fought valiantly, enough to send the game to penalties, but here’s the difference between the two teams. The Americans fought hard, but when a combination of minor and major mistakes occurred, their gameplay turned from the beautiful relaxed style to a hurried more sloppy style. It was easily visible to see the demeanor of the team change as the game progressed. Meanwhile, while the Japanese made many mistakes and were fortunate many goals weren’t scored on them, they kept pushing. They didn’t give up at the beginning while the Americans had them on their heels even when they were finally scored upon. They kept their calm and cool even until the last penalty, winning the game. They battled through their mistakes successfully, winning them the tournament. The Americans also battled valliantly, but my opinion is the past made them nervous when it came down to penalties. Their usual professional solidity while taking them simply wasn’t there because of all the missed shots and many other things that occurred during the game that effected them all mentally.

Both teams played well, both teams fought back and battled to the end. When it came down to the last 10 shots of the game, it was clear to see which team had the discipline to focus on the task at hand and do what they had practiced. They looked beyond their mistakes and keep fighting. The Japanese won because of this (I’m no expert so this can be debated). This was a simple rudimentary example that probably has holes, but hopefully what you will gather is that we can work through and beyond our mistakes. We can progress forward and learn from them.

When we focus so much on our past and the mistakes we made, we turn from our goal of Christ to fixing mistakes. The more mistakes we think we fix or work on we feel better about ourselves until we make a mistake again eroding the false foundation of success that we’ve built for ourselves. We become despondent and hopeless because we’re always stuck in the same cycle and can’t seem to find a way out. Our mistakes and shortfalls constantly bring us down, and in the end we’ll lose the game because we’re not able to respond well to the wrongs we’ve committed. There is a way that we can learn to move on from what’s happened. There is still yet hope despite what we’ve done.

Satan seeks only to condemn and to lie. We HAVE to learn to fight his lies with truth found in Scripture. When he says we are condemned, we respond that we are loved (cf. Jn. 3:16, many others). When he says that we are worthless and no good, we respond that we have Christ’s work to do (Matt. 28:16-20). There are many others out there, begin to learn them. A couple great books to help us realize this are the Bondage Breaker and Spiritual Warfare. Look them up.

God has also given us the tools to be able to not simply stop what we’ve been doing, but filling our minds with other things. When we practice taking our thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5), we can get stuck thinking this is the only thing we need to do. It does no good taking them captive when you constantly have to do so when you’re filling your mind with the same bombs to defuse over and over. Philippians 4:8-9 gives us the tools to fill our minds with good things, things that will truly last and be useful. We also have all of Scripture and many other good things to fill our minds with, enabling us to better prevent ourselves from making mistakes slowing the cycle. And, when we do make a mistake we are better prepared to deal with it.

In the end, we know we can win the prize because we’ve learned that God’s grace is there and we have our foundation of Christ to lean upon. We won’t wash away when the tides of oppression and mistakes wash through because we know of a better foundation that won’t erode when trying times come. Every time we make a mistake, we look to Christ and look to Him to help us to move forward letting the past remain in the past. We push toward our goal, which is Christ Jesus.

Hopes this makes sense and it helps those out who read it! If you have any input or tips they are welcome!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s