"Mess up. Screw up. Of course you did. You always do. Typical. Idiot. Mistake."
These are messages that live in my brain. This is a tape that plays when I do what humans do and make a mistake. These are the lies I hear, believe and say about myself when I am not living in the truth of scripture.
For a long time, my skewed understanding of the gospel led me to believe that if I loved a perfect Savior, Jesus, and I was being transformed into His likeness, that I had to be perfect. God expected perfection from me, didn't He?
How else could I reflect Christ?
I believed "transformation" and becoming like Christ was encapsulated in a pretty package neatly tied with a bow on top. Like the zap of a fairy wand. Accept Christ – zap – be like Him – zap – be perfect. Perhaps when I opened the gift of salvation as a young girl the wand of transformation was out of zaps?
And so, I waited for a refill. Waited and waited for the day when the "zap" would come and I would be instantly transformed from the "screw up" into an "infallible, untarnished and stable" reflection of Christ.
Newsflash. I am human. I make mistakes. I will live the rest of my life making mistakes.
AND... it is OKAY. It's okay.
Proverbs 24:16 says, "Though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin."
Proverbs, known as the book of wisdom, states assuredly that righteous men and women will fall. Mistakes are an inevitable part of this sin-filled world. God is not surprised by our mistakes. He expects and anticipates them. He knows where we will get hung up and what will steal our affections away from Him. He knows what distracts us and what we hunger for. After all, He made us.
Romans 8:37 urges us on. Though we get knocked down, God will give us the strength to get back up again and again and again. "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
As a child of God, who seeks to live a righteous life, I am called and compelled to get back up when I fall. The falls are the training, the readying, the perfecting to run the race. There is no fairy wand with zaps to take me from a walker to a marathoner overnight. It's a journey. Transformation comes through the courage to get back up one more time.
If you have a tape that plays in your mind and tries to convince you that you are anything but a beautifully made work in progress who brings delight to your God, may you receive this truth today. Will you exchange the negative messages that you play in your mind, that keep you from moving forward, that keep you stuck in the fall, for truth?
I pray that you will see mistakes as a part of your journey instead the definition of who you are. Will you be a parson who gets up one more time? Get back up. One more time! Get back up. And may I remind you, you have a conqueror's heart!
— Stephanie Winslow, author of Ascent to Hope: The Rugged Climb from Fear to Faith and business coach @ Blind Spot Consultants, writes to arm others with support and encourage Christian families struggling with addiction to let go of fear and find peace in personal relationships with Christ. Mrs. Winslow holds a MA degree in Higher Education from Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH, with a degree in Spanish. She is certified as a Faith and Health Ambassador through the Faith and Health Connection. Stephanie resides in St. Louis, MO with her husband and two daughters.
— For less than the price of a cup of coffee, readers can now support truth, evangelism and revival with Christian Examiner by subscribing today (email firstname.lastname@example.org and remember to write the word "Subscribe" in the subject line)!