Ask for forgiveness and move forward with courage, be paralyzed by fear or run away?
As an imperfect Christian I’ve done all three. I can say that making mistakes is the one thing I dislike most. It makes me feel inadequate and embarrassed. When I first committed to living a life like Christ I was a recovering perfectionist. I thought that once I became a Christian I would STOP making mistakes!
I can’t be a Christian AND make mistakes! Right?
Well I was very wrong, I still make mistakes. Even recently, as I’m navigating new territories in my health, relationships and leadership training I’ve made some mistakes and I’ve tried to fix them myself. However, the the Lord’s been dealing with me. He’s assured me that when I mess up He will be there to help make it right…but I have to come to Him first.
One of my most recent mistakes is not following through on something I said I was going to do. In that instance I did not walk in integrity and that is a BIG deal to me. It’s taken a lot of work for me to develop in integrity and to see me not follow through is disheartening. I feel embarrassed and I just want to pull the covers over my head and hide, eat one more pint of ice cream or play 10 more rounds of Candy Crush. I just want to forget about it but that never helps the situation.
Over the years I’ve learned some techniques that help me get out of procrastination and back into integrity. I share a few of them below:
Go to God immediately and ask for forgiveness. The faster you do it the less fear or guilt you will feel. The longer you wait the harder it will be to fight those feelings.
Receive your forgiveness. Many times I would ask for forgiveness but still feel guilty. Over the years the Lord revealed forgiveness is a process but it only starts when I RECEIVE the forgiveness given to me. (Example: “Lord I am sorry, please forgive me of ___. I choose to receive the forgiveness, love, grace and mercy you freely give me through your Son Jesus Christ”)
When guilt tries to creep in remember God loves you, He doesn’t judge you. Create a powerful statement of His love and forgiveness for you and how you choose not to make the same mistake but to choose a more positive alternative.