Since the beginning of time human beings have been stumbling their way through life. Making mistakes and missing the mark. The truth is, God doesn’t expect you or I to be perfect, but He does give us a free will to turn to Him or away when we fall short.
Our response when we fail can either set us on a path of deeper connection with God, true freedom and forgiveness, or years of back breaking shame, guilt and condemnation.
Let’s take a look at the story of Adam and Eve and learn what not to do when we make a mistake.
1. Don’t cover
“When they realised they were naked they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves” – Genesis 3:7
Our automatic response when we make a mistake is to hide our sin from God and others. That’ll never help you. Don’t cover, don’t conceal, don’t fake having it all together. Be honest and open. God can only heal what you reveal.
I like the way Psalm 32:3 puts it, “When I kept it all inside my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. The pressure never let up; all the juices of my life dried up. Then I let it all out; I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.” Suddenly the pressure was gone—my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared.”
2. Don’t run
“When Adam and Eve heard the sound of God walking in the garden, they ran away and hid from Him. So then God called to them and said, “Where are you?” Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; so I hid.” – Genesis 3:8
I’ve seen so many young people run away from God, run away from church and even run away from me when they did something they knew they shouldn’t. Listen, sin destroys our lives, but God restores them. Run to Him, not away. Run into the church. It’s a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.
3. Don’t hide
Did you know God actually sees you wherever you go, so hiding is futile and will only further fracture your soul. So, stop hiding in the shadow when God’s already called you out into His light.
“He who conceals his sins will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.” – Proverbs 28:13
4. Don’t blame
Shame has this way of making us blame others for our actions, but it only offers temporary relief and doesn’t get to the root of the problem.
In Genesis 3:11-12 it says:
“So God replied back to them, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Own your behaviour. No one makes us do anything. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.
“I have found that as your wisdom and maturity develop, the number of other people you blame for your own circumstances shrinks.” – Dr Steve Maraboli
So, my commission to you today is this: Stop covering your mess ups, stop running away in shame, stop hiding your mistakes, stop trying to shift the blame.
Realise that God is grace personified. Be honest with Him. Admit your failings. Take ownership for your actions. Realise there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus and live free. Because it is here – in a place of complete honesty and openness with God – that you will truly experience His unfathomable mercy, His complete restoration and His empowerment to go and sin no more.
Article supplied with thanks to Sabrina Peters. Sabrina is a writer, pastor and relationships blogger. She is passionate about Jesus and changing the way people think about God & sex.