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The Weeping Prophet: A Study of Jeremiah - Purple and blue background with raindrops on glass, The Weeping Prophet: A Study of Jeremiah - Purple and blue background with raindrops on glass,

Can God Use My Mistakes

  • April 2022 Issue

Number 2 pencil with pink eraser shavings on a white background.

Four Actions to Take When You Mess Up

We all make mistakes, but how should we respond when we do? I’ll be the first to admit that I am not perfect. Even if I thought I was, I find daily reminders to the contrary. Sometimes my mistakes are as simple as spilling milk when making a bowl of cereal. Or, I once forgot my wallet at a checkout line.

For simple things like this, I can typically move on quickly, maybe with a little embarrassment. But what about my bigger mistakes? How do you respond when you hurt your spouse’s feelings or forget an important bill payment that hurts your credit score? Even further, how do you respond when you do something that goes against God and His Word? 

When we hurt ourselves and others, we must realize that hurt requires healing. Healing can be spiritual, emotional, and mental. It is important to remember that God recognizes that we are not perfect. And, despite our ability to fail, nothing can remove His love for us (Rom. 8:38–39).  

God has given us wisdom on how we should respond when we do make mistakes. Here are a couple ways we can heal after we have hurt ourselves or others: 

  1. Be willing to apologize. God spoke to the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah about the importance of being willing to admit you are wrong and say you are sorry (Jer. 8:6). Healing starts when you apologize to those you have hurt (including God!).
  2. Take steps to change. When we make a mistake, we need to learn from it, and promise to do better in the future. God called the Israelites (who had made repeated mistakes) to change their ways. He promised to reward them if they did so (Jer. 7:3). Like any treatment, healing occurs once you take steps to move away from the issue. 
  3. Show what you’ve learned! Mistakes can be a great way for us to learn, but we need to demonstrate what we have learned from them. Paul encourages us to persist in doing well in our lives (Rom. 2:7). We are to forget the past and strain toward the future He has for us (Phil. 3:13). It is God who will enable us to do so (Isa. 40:29). 
  4. Forgive yourself and others. None of us is perfect. And, we can be sure that we will certainly make mistakes in the future. But luckily, God forgives us if we are willing to bring our sins to Him (1 John 1:9). Realizing our own ability to make mistakes encourages us to forgive others. Jesus tells us that those who forgive others will be forgiven as well (Luke 6:37). 

Realize that every mistake is simply an opportunity. Each mistake we make can even help us grow in our relationship with others, with God, or even just with ourselves. So, take heart! Every stumble can be a chance for you to build something loving and new! 

BY Daniel Hugar

Daniel Hugar is a second-year student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Moody Theological Seminary. Although he is currently a medical device engineer, he has felt God call him to pursue a career as a counselor. He is looking forward to using his skills to help those in need of mental healthcare and support. 

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