Tuesday, July 3, 2012
LOVE IS PATIENT AND KIND
Thank God for His patience over our mistakes. Thank Him, too, for the Godly patience in our loved ones, friends, and bosses when we err. Patience is an offshoot of love, but sometimes it takes time (and patience!) to learn how to be patient with others—and ourselves—over mistakes made. With God’s help, we can do it.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
I accidentally sent the same devotional article twice. That’s not the first mistake I’ve made this week. I chalk it up to brain overload, resulting in poor organization and forgetfulness.
We all make mistakes. And we usually excuse ourselves in some manner or form. Sometimes, though, we whip ourselves with slashing words such as, “How dumb could I be?” Or, “Dad always told me I was stupid. Guess I proved him right.” Or, “How can anyone like me after such a stupid mistake?”
Perhaps some of you readers were disappointed at having to read my same column twice—or not at all. I didn’t mean for it to happen. Some of our mistakes, however, can be costly. When we lie or renege on a promise, we can lose the trust of someone. When we break a promise to eat properly, we may risk our health. When we let our temper run amok or speak thoughtlessly, we may lose a friendship.
Some people constantly excuse themselves from their mistakes. They often blame others, including God. And some of us look at the mistakes of others as character weaknesses. I’m guilty of that at times, and glad I’m not God, or they’d get their come-uppance, that’s for sure. I have to keep reminding myself that the speck in their eye is nothing compared to the log in my own.
God, being holy yet patient, promises to remove our mistakes, sins, shortcomings or whatever we want to call them. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12) We need only to ask for His forgiveness, and His help in avoiding them in the future.
Another thing about God. He doesn’t want us to tear out our hair or walk on hot coals because of our mistakes. Self-condemnation shouldn’t be in the Christian’s vocabulary. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 12:1)
Mistakes can be serious. We must not treat them lightly but we don’t want to dwell on those we make accidentally. God knows we aren’t perfect. The mistakes we make from our bad choices, however—sometimes willfully—are more serious. Even then, God, through Christ, will not only forgive us when we ask humbly, He will also give us power and strength to avoid making more mistakes. Then we can live with freedom from regret, recrimination, and anxiety.
Lord, thank You for Your forgiveness. Help us to be forgiving and nonjudgmental of the mistakes of others. In Jesus’ name, amen.