Failures, Mistakes, Errors, Oversights, Goofs, Defeats
These can leave us feeling uneasy, embarrassed, depressed and guilty. We've all been there and wish we could have a "do over." Preferably we can fix a bad situation and chalk it up as a lesson learned. However, sometimes there are life-altering and catastrophic outcomes with considerable remorse. Carrying guilt is a burden some people believe they deserve, but living with guilt is not only wrong, it's unhealthy. People need to forgive themselves but have a hard time doing so. They can't forgive themselves so they believe God can't forgive them. That's where an understanding of God's grace is crucial as it accomplishes the task of forgiveness we so desperately need.
God's amazing grace and never-ending mercy brings healing and freedom to one's troubled soul. God's overwhelming grace is what sets Christianity apart from other religions. I appreciate what other religions teach and embrace many of their philosophies. Even so, nothing can come close to God's unmerited grace. Other religions advocate good works as a means to gain God's favor and continually strive to live an admirable life with high moral virtues. As a Christian we should have high moral standards and live a life in keeping with the values Jesus taught. But that is not what earns God's favor. Being in good standing with God is going to take a lot more than the best we can offer. If it was all about good deeds, we wouldn't need God. What's the point? All that would really matter is that our good outweighs our bad.
Make no mistake, it's not about our works that count; rather it's about Jesus' work. Jesus' life, death and resurrection are the expression of God's grace. We need to understand and accept the extent of God's love and grace. God loves us in spite of all our failures, mistakes, errors, oversights, goofs and defeats. We're free and forgiven — yesterday, today and tomorrow. We may have to live with the consequences of our mistakes, but we don't have to live with the guilt! A guilt-free life; who can resist such a gift? That's the beauty of being a Christian, we are accepted and forgiven. We can't earn God's love or God's grace. God's grace covers our past, present and future shortcomings! God's grace and love is a gift we can carry with us; guilt is a burden we should not have to carry. This song says it best, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound! That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind but now I see. . . .Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come. This grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home." Amen!