Overcoming our mistakes
M aking mistakes is easy, overcoming, learning, and living beyond our mistakes is anything but easy.
Mistakes cause embarrassment, humiliation, permanent separation between family members, friends, and coworkers.
Mistakes cost the lives of others, and cause an untold level of physical, emotional, and mental pain.
How do we overcome our mistakes?
We can learn from the lives, choices and consequences of others who came before us.
The problem with learning from others is our pride gets in the way. Pride tells us “What happened to them won’t happen to me.” History repeats itself because we fail to learn from those who came before us.
Regardless of the type of mistake, there are always consequences and pain that result.
Recently, my wife and I were driving home from church one Sunday. I slowed down (I put my flashers on to warn the folks behind me) due to a previous accident.
As we slowed, the person behind us did not. In his statement to the police he said, “I looked away and then looked back to see the car in front of me slowed and I couldn’t slow down in time.”
Yes, the person rear ended us and caused great damage to his vehicle, our vehicle (still in the shop for repairs) and a continuous amount of physical pain for my wife.
When we make our mistakes (sometimes called “sin”) we can be forgiven, we can be restored in relationships or standing in our communities but there are consequences. King David, from ancient Israel is someone from whom we can learn. There are at least four major mistakes/sins David committed during his reign but the one that is well preserved and shared in detail is the sin he committed with Bathsheba.
If you have never heard of David and Bathsheba, read the story in the book of Second Samuel, chapter eleven. David saw a woman bathing, sent his servants to bring her to him, indulged in his base behavior and the woman became pregnant. To cover this up, David had the woman’s husband (a soldier) sent to the front of the battle and there he was killed. David then married the woman.
But God was very displeased with David.
When confronted with his mistakes and sin, David admitted to them, claimed ownership, stated his regret and sorrow for what he had done. God forgave David, but there were consequences to his sin. One can be forgiven, but one must live with lasting consequences.
For the rest of his life, David endured the consequences of his sin. Too, others in his family endured the pain, embarrassment, and consequences of David’s sin.
We may think we will get away with our mistakes but God said, “Be sure your sins will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
What did David do when his mistakes and sin were exposed?
First, David admitted his sin. David said, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). The road to forgiveness and recovery starts with the admission of our sin.
David then asked for forgiveness from God. David said, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so, you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so, you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge” (Psalm 51:1-9).
The Bible is silent about David asking forgiveness from Bathsheba or others, but his repentance would be incomplete if he did not).
David then begins a period of remorse, self-examination, repentance, and thanking God for His goodness, forgiveness, and blessings.
David was forgiven but he endured the consequences or his sin for the remainder of his life.
The human thing is to hide our mistakes and sin. The right thing is to confess our sin, ask for forgiveness which God is always faithful to forgive (humans are not so forgiving) and to ask for help in moving on in life.
Everyone makes mistakes and I have found that the people who make great mistakes are usually the ones who have give the greatest forgiveness and compassion to others.
How great is your forgiveness and compassion for others?
Clayton P. Adams, West Memphis, AR email: [email protected] com.