|Volume 24 Number 9 September 2022
Do you ever feel as though you are the only one who is making any mistakes? Or, perhaps you feel everybody else seems to have it all together, thus focusing more attention on what you perceive to be glaring blunders? Well, think again!
Imagine if you had been the president of a Michigan bank who advised Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the new motor company, assuring him, “The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty.” Or, consider Gary Cooper’s comment about Clark Gable accepting the role of Rhett Butler, which he had turned down. “Gone With the Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling flat on his face and not Gary Cooper.” There was even a Boston sportswriter who summed up young Ted Williams by saying, “I don’t believe this kid will ever hit half a singer midget’s weight in a bathing suit.” Well, whatever that meant, Williams resoundingly proved him wrong!
The above miscalculations from the public record are mentioned to emphasize one important point: At some time in our lives, all of us are going to make mistakes. Unfortunately, the shame associated with some mistakes causes an inordinate amount of suffering due to our own refusal to forgive ourselves. However, this self-imposed burden can be overcome when we realize that obedience to Christ removes the source of our guilt.
Christians can take great comfort in the fact that as we make the effort to correct and humbly confess the wrongs in our lives, God is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NKJV). The key to all of this is in our humbling of self. If we are willing to face our mistakes with a steadfast resolve for betterment in the future, then we will have taken some giant steps toward removing those constant stumbling blocks from our pathway to Christian maturity. Let us continue to forge ahead “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
Changes in Life
Many transitions are made in a lifetime. Leaving what was familiar and stepping into what may not be fully known can create some anxiety. However, life is filled with transitions. Not only are those transitions associated with movement from an old year to a new, but also with regard to day-to-day activities, school, jobs, relationships, economic status, etc. The thing that can make these transitions easier is through focusing on what does not change. In order to keep our bearings in life and to remain on the right path, we need to fix our eyes on what remains constant.
We read in Malachi 3:6, “For I am the Lord, I do not change…” The nation of Israel needed change – to return to God – and the encouragement to do so was based on the consistency of God’s gracious and loving response when true penitence is present. God knows the heart and is eager to restore those willing to return.
We know that we can expect good gifts from God. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Our Father never withholds from us what we need. Because of that, in the midst of a changing world, we are still trying to become what God wants us to be.
Let us pray every day that we allow God to have His way with us, so that our lives (in spite of changes) will possess the consistency of action that demonstrates the wisdom of living life His way. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).