Many would say we no longer serve in a forgiving military. It is as if it has become a “one-mistake and you’re out” military. Statistically that is not true, but the perception is real.
The smaller and leaner military, with a shortage of support services, and too many requirements, doesn’t have time to handle “problem children”.
Christians are not immune from making mistakes, but we can have confidence that when we make mistakes, it is ultimately for our good.
Fundamentally we believe that we do not have to be defined by our past mistakes because we have a Savior who forgives us and then uses those mistakes to make us more like Him.
We all admit no one is perfect but deep down we desire and attempt to live a mistake-free life. Ironically, the more we try to avoid mistakes, the more of them we make. Certainly, we don’t want to take a casual approach to our mistakes because defending our nation requires us to act according to the reality that one mistake can lead to a loss of life. But we do want to handle mistakes God’s way.
Matthew 10:16-39 presents various scenarios that are ripe with potential for making mistakes. Jesus says we live in a world where people want to harm us (including family members). This can happen either through false accusations at one extreme to bodily harm on the other. Despite all our protective measures, people will find ways to deeply hurt us. We make mistakes in how we handle the harm through taking revenge or perhaps keeping silent. We may even pass on the violence to our family and friends.
The Poisonous Greenhouse
Jesus also says that there are mistakes what we make “behind closed doors”. Somehow we convince ourselves that when we are alone, we can get away with things we normally would not try with others around. No one wants to have their deep, dark secrets opened up to public scrutiny but many times that is exactly what happens.
Jesus promises that everything done behind closed doors will be revealed.
The real danger for most of us is that once we make a mistake, we think we are stuck. We attempt to cover over the mistake and hide it to prevent further damage. We then convince ourselves that we will eventually find a way to fix the mistake.
But mistakes are like mushrooms, they grow best in the dark.
Exposing your mistakes to the light is painful and ugly, but we serve a God who can and does use even our worst mistakes to make something beautiful out of them (Romans 8:28). This process comes at a cost, one that He paid by His sacrifice (Colossians 2:14). We can be sure that when we have a right relationship with Christ, we are not condemned for our mistakes (Romans 8:1).
Today is the day to find the courage to open up about your mistakes. Don’t be afraid, God knows all and still loves you.