'We all stumble in many ways.' James 3:2 NIV
When we make a mistake, we can beat ourselves up about it. We overthink it, think we've failed and anticipate that we'll fail again. This mindset is dangerous. Our self-esteem evaporates and we can label ourselves as failures. But this isn't our identity. It's true that we'll make mistakes. James wrote: 'We all stumble in many ways' (James 3:2 NIV), and Solomon said: 'There is no one on earth who does what is right all the time and never makes a mistake' (Ecclesiastes 7:20 GNT).
We will fail, but we aren't failures. It's good to recognise where we're going wrong so that we can avoid making the same mistakes. God doesn't see all our mistakes and condemn us. Instead, he forgives us and continues to love and accept us. The Bible says: 'There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus' (Romans 8:1 NIV). God isn't condemning us, so we need to stop condemning ourselves.
We're all a work in progress. In Philippians 1:6 (NLT), it says: 'God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.' God's working on us, and he'll finish what he's started. He's not a harsh God who's angry when we make mistakes. He's gentle with us, so let's be gentle with ourselves too.
So what now? Next time you find yourself focusing on your mistakes, declare out loud 'I am forgiven and accepted by God.'
Soulfood: 2 Chr 8-11 Lk 15:1-10 Ps 119:89-96 Pro 21:20-23,