Everybody makes mistakes. We forget birthdays or anniversaries. We don’t leave ourselves enough time to account for traffic and so we’re late to a meeting. We misread a note from school and don’t show up for a parent meeting. We make mistakes because we’re people.
To be clear, though, there is a difference between “sin” and “mistakes.” While both have consequences and both affect people other than ourselves, one is mainly willful, the other is accidental. One is malicious, the other is more innocent. When we think about the gospel, we primarily think about it in terms of sin. And thank God the gospel has something to say about that – that because of the good news of Jesus Christ, we can be forgiven for our sins. But let’s not sell the gospel short.
If the gospel is really the center of our lives and not some ancillary piece, relegated to Sundays and the occasional heartfelt moment of gratitude of sorrow, then the gospel has something to say about our mistakes as well. And thank God it does. So what might the gospel say to you if you make a mistake today? Here are seven ideas:
1. When you make a mistake, you make an error in judgment or a moment of forgetfulness.
The gospel reminds you that your self-worth is not tied to your ability to perform perfectly.
2. When you make a mistake, you are tempted to hide, blame, or ignore.
The gospel gives you the confidence you need to own up to it and accept responsibility.
3. When you make a mistake, you start to focus on yourself, thinking that the whole world is looking at you.
The gospel reminds you that you are not the center of the universe – Jesus Christ is.
4. When you make a mistake, you find yourself wanting to do anything you can to avoid the potential of failure.
The gospel encourages you to take risks instead of burying your talents in the dirt.
5. When you are around someone who has made a mistake, you can easily slip into judgment in order to make yourself feel better.
The gospel reminds you that you have the responsibility to fulfill the law of Christ by bearing another’s burden.
6. When you make a mistake, you look for ways to redeem yourself in the eyes of your bosses and peers.
The gospel reminds you that you have nothing to prove to anyone since Christ has proven Himself on your behalf.
7. When you make a mistake, you become afraid. Afraid of what people think, afraid of doing something wrong, afraid of the consequences.
The gospel drives out fear with perfect love.
Don’t confine the gospel to one area of life, friends. Embrace its permeating effect, and live all of life in light of the good news of Jesus.