Updated: Dec 8, 2021
How do you look at mistakes? Do you look at them as opportunities for you to grow, or do you try everything in your power to avoid them? How about when you fail? Do you chalk it up as a learning experience that helped you to mature, or do you see it as a poor reflection of yourself? These are important questions, as the answers can actually reflect how you perceive the grace of God. I’ve recently come to recognize that I struggle with accepting God’s grace in my life. When I make a mistake, even one that is very small, I can find myself dwelling on that mistake for hours. How could I let this happened? I should have known better. What are people going to think about me? By the time I’m done with replaying that situation over and over again in my head, the devil has had an absolute field day with me. I recognize that this issue stems from having the spirit of perfectionism.
This is a very dangerous and deceptive spirit because the reality is, no one is capable of being perfect. The only perfect man that walked this earth was Jesus, so the idea that I need to avoid making mistakes (or in other words be perfect at something) is already setting me up for failure. However, the more we begin to understand God’s grace in our lives, the more freedom we have to rid ourselves of the self-induced burden of perfectionism. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” We should be excited that we serve a God that allows us to operate in His grace. God understands that his children will never be perfect. If we were, we wouldn’t need God. God’s grace is what covers us when we fall short because God knows how to use the broken pieces of our lives for good. This type of grace God gives freely to all those who accept it.
So recently when I start to “go there” after making a mistake, I’ve learned that I have to shut down that negative self-talk right away. I do that by talking out loud to myself, declaring the truth of what God says about me. I remember that I’m the daughter of the most high God, who sent His son to die for me so that I can experience grace. I also try to look at the situation from a practical sense, because in most cases the mistake is not catastrophic by any means and it is an opportunity for growth. When I’m really upset about a situation, I will also reach out to a friend who I can be honest with about my emotions, and can give me solid biblical advice. Putting these strategies in place has helped me to grow my faith on the journey in life. I’ve learned that all I need to do is continue to make steps forward in the direction I believe God is leading me in. Then even when I misstep sometimes, God can still use me to do great things for His kingdom because the reality is everything I am able to accomplish is by the grace of God.
Subscribe to Faith on the Journey's mailing list, to receive regular, relevant devotionals in your inbox throughout the week.