Skip to main content

Do I keep this or not?

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. (Scott Adams) When you see your reflection in the mirror, which mistakes do you actually see in that reflected image? When others see you, what mistakes do they observe? If Christ has become the center of your life, it is likely that what others see in us are those mistakes interwoven into the fiber of what we call "character" - displays of God's grace. These are the ones upon which God has applied a great big coating of grace until the mistake isn't prominent anymore, but his grace shines through.  As a result, they can now become prominent displays of his goodness and graciousness, not so much as flaws in our character, but as evidence of how God can use even what we see as the "worst" to become something of beauty and purpose in our lives. I have been pretty "creative" with my life at times, making some big mistakes, but God has always been faithful to let me see just how they can become these "artful" displays of his grace and goodness!

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. (James 4:10 NLT)

Much of what God uses in our lives isn't so much a matter of us making things better, or smoothing something over so we can move on - it is that God dealt with it head on and covered it with his grace! In counseling terms, this is where the rubber meets the road - the evidence that we take the problem we have created quite seriously and we then allow God to show us how to move beyond it. It is more than sweeping it under the rug - it is learning what took or turned us toward that specific point of making the mistake and then finding a way to block that pathway once and for all so we don't travel it again.

Most of the real work of dealing with our mistakes isn't that we admit we have them. It is admitting we need some help to get away from the consistent pattern of making them time and time again! It begins with humbling ourselves enough to acknowledge the mistake - to bring it to the foot of the cross - then to allow it to be dealt with as only Christ can - in grace. We might think we have a handle on our mistakes, choosing which ones to kind of just gloss over and move away from, but in "glossing over" any mistake, we run the risk of returning repeatedly to that same mistake.

We may not have to revisit all the ugliness of the mistake, but we need to allow Christ to show us what it is that even got us to that point in the first place. This is where we begin to see him "unravel" the events leading up to the place of our "mistake". It may not be as comfortable as we might want it to be, but nothing of value in our lives actually comes to us with ease! Humility is not an easy thing - for it might just require us to reach out from behind our "secret place" of dealing with the ugliness on our own to find help outside of ourselves. It definitely requires we acknowledge we have been on the wrong path - but it may also require us to seek help to build the blockade of defenses that will keep us from ever traveling that path again!

Some mistakes he makes pretty prominent displays in our lives, but it isn't to shame us - it is to show just how much grace can take a pretty ugly mess and turn it into something others can see as a thing of beauty and a place to find hope for their own "grace-filled artwork".  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean