There are times when we all realize that we’ve messed up. That we’ve stepped out of line. That our actions have not been consistent with our core values. That we’ve sinned. That we’ve blown it and we’ve failed.
In these moments, we have a choice to make. We can either wallow in self-pity and try to feel good about feeling bad (a miserable way to live), or we can Remember Jesus Christ and return once again, through him, to the God of all grace and mercy.
In his book The Discipline of Grace, Jerry Bridges quotes a letter written by Mutua Mahiaini, a leader in The Navigators ministry in Kenya, Africa. In this letter, Mahiaini gives sound advice to those who feel like they’ve blown it:
“Sin grieves God. We must not down-play the seriousness of it in the life of a believer. But we must come to terms with the fact that God’s Grace is GREATER THAN ALL OUR SINS. Repentance is one of the Christian’s highest privileges. A repentant Christian focuses on God’s mercy and God’s grace. Any moment in our lives when we bask in God’s mercy and grace is our highest moment. Higher than when we feel snug in our decent performance and cannot think of anything we need to confess.
Whenever we fail–and fail we will, the Spirit of God will work on us and bring us to the foot of the cross where Jesus carried our failures. That is potentially a glorious moment. For we could at that moment accept God’s abundant Mercy and Grace and go forth with nothing to boast of except Christ Himself, or else we struggle with our shame, focusing on that as well as our track record. We fail because we have shifted our attention from Grace and Mercy. One who draws on God’s Mercy and Grace is quick to repent, but also slow to sin.”
So, if you feel like you’ve blown it, you are actually experiencing a potentially glorious moment. At this very moment of weakness and frailty and failure and sin, you can return to God through Christ and experience his abundant mercy and grace.
If you are in Christ, Jesus lived the perfect life that you have failed to live, and that perfect life has been credited to you by grace through faith in him. Jesus carried your failures. Jesus paid the penalty you owed for your sins. Jesus bore the wrath that you deserved. Jesus rose from the dead for your justification. And even now, if you confess your sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive you your sins and purify you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
You see your sin and failure, but don’t despair. Jesus is a friend of sinners and his grace is greater than all of your sin. Go to him in all your need, and he will receive, forgive, cleanse, and purify you.