I mess up. I mess up a lot. I speak sharply to a friend. I eat that brownie. I snuggle under the sheets instead of getting up to exercise. I get angry at the driver in front of me. Little mess-ups dot the landscape of my life—a tribute to my flaws and humanity. I try. I really do. I awaken each morning with a steely resolve to be kind and humble and forgiving. Sometimes I make it until dinner. Other days, I fail before I even leave the house.
How about you? Do you feel like you’ve messed up? Maybe you yelled at your kids, made an impulse purchase when you really didn’t have the money, didn’t finish that project at work, or told a lie to cover your actions. I don’t know what reasons are making you feel guilt or shame or self-loathing for having chosen wrongly, but all I can tell ya’ is we’re in the same boat, friend. We’re riding upon the waters of regrets, bad decisions, and impulsive reactions.
Did God ever express that we are to be perfect? Did He state in His Word that we are never to mess up and always to choose correctly? Did He tell us if we messed up, even one time, we would be kicked out of His house? Will He turn His back on us if we make a misstep? Absolutely not!
Yes, we should try to live above the chaos of this world and respond with love to our children who know how to push our buttons, offer forgiveness to those who hurt us, and choose joy over disappointment or anger. But we aren’t perfect. We will constantly react with our worldly flesh, allowing our circumstances and emotions to rule. God dislikes sin, but He loves us and love always wins.
On days when I feel I should be crowned Miss Mess-up Queen, I reassure myself with the sentiment offered by my heavenly Father, the only one who truly gives complete and unconditional love.
Psalm 103:8 — The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
Psalm 86:5 — You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
And my favorite verse that encourages me at the end of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (Yes, there are times I feel like Alexander in the famous children’s book):
Lamentations 3:22-23 — The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
God doesn’t give up on us. The sun will rise. He will greet us with a song in His heart and wrap us in His faithful arms.
We will try again tomorrow. It’s a new day!
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/