What’s the biggest mistakes you’ve ever made?
I’ve got a long list of mistakes. Here are a few:
- When I dropped a lit match into a gasoline can.
- That time in fourth grade when I agreed to fight a kid twice my size.
- The time I told a girl I was flirting with her head was big.
I’ve made other, worse mistakes, too. Ones that can hardly be called “mistakes.” They were conscious, premeditated decisions I knew were wrong. Warning lights were flashing and I ignored them.
- The times I lied to people just to get a chance to view pornography.
- The season I repeatedly bullied a good friend because he was an easy target.
- When I’ve ignored others’ needs because I just want life to be easy for me.
- Or the times I crossed others’ personal boundaries in ways I can’t take back or repay.
But with every mistake (and every volitional, sinful non-mistake), there’s always another, perhaps even bigger, mistake we’re tempted by that comes on its heels:
Ever since our first father and mother took off running after they bit the forbidden fruit, we’ve been doing the same thing.
Isolation, distraction, minimizing our wrong, busy-ness, playing the victim, pretending we’re fine, blaming, dressing ourselves up, medicating, even immersing ourselves in good works—all versions of running.
Like Adam and Eve, we run thinking it’s a matter of self-preservation. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Sin dis-integrates us. It separates us from ourselves, from one another, and from God. And running only insures we’ll remain split apart.
The alternative is better:
Stop. Simply stop.
Let your mistakes and your sins catch up with you. It’s a scary thought until you realize they already have, and they’ve been doing damage. Damage you can’t undo or fix on your own.
Jesus already knows. He comes now not to judge or condemn, but to rescue and to heal.
What wrong comes to mind? You’ve been like a cat with its tail on fire, running madly around the yard, refusing to be still, to turn and face the One who seeks only to put the fire out and heal you.
And remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Let us know if we can help.
I’d love to hear from you: What’s helped you to stop running and begin dealing with the wrongs you’ve done? Leave a comment below.
I hope this kind of introspection becomes a frequent exercise.