Have you ever made a mistake? Have you ever messed up royally?
Have you ever blown it big time?
If you answered “No” here’s what I think: “Liar liar, pants on fire!” Let’s be real, we have all had a time when we’ve blown it. Remember, we’re human. From the very beginning when Adam and Eve had the first big mess up, all of us after that point have had a 100% chance that we would make a mistake.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have had my fair share of major bummer mess ups. The Apostle Paul did a great job explaining this phenomenon when he said: “ I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway,” (Rom. 7:19). This has been too true for me, even after I became a Christian. I’ve swore, said mean things to my wife, let pride get the best of me, looked at things on my computer I shouldn’t have, and even repeated some of these offenses, after I already told God I would never do them again. Bad, I know. Maybe you can relate or maybe you are even caught in the middle of something right now. Hang in there because there is hope!
There is a man in the Bible by the name of David who takes home the trophy for one of the biggest “Oops.”
It is not so much about the mistake, but how you respond to the mistake that matters the most
From 2 Samuel 11 & 12 we know that he slept with another man’s wife, Bathsheba (yes, that was really her name; and yes, she was really taking a bath when David first saw her). You would think that adultery was bad enough, but then he called her husband Uriah in from battle and had him killed. Finally, the prophet Nathan chewed King David out for his royal mess up (no pun intended). He was anointed by God, yet blew it big time. Sound familiar?!
You see, living the Christian life doesn’t mean we are going to be perfect. We are going to mess up at some point. I’ve learned that it is not so much about the mistake, but how you respond to the mistake that matters the most!
In Psalm 51, we hear from the heart of King David directly after his biggest mess up ever. And in the words that he penned can be found the wisdom of how to make things right after we blow it. Let’s check them out:
5 Ways To Make Things Right After a Mess Up
1. GET REAL
“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” – Psalm 51:2
Call it what it is – SIN! Don’t try to justify it, cover it up, ignore it, or make excuses for it. Be a man (or woman) about it and take responsibility for your mistake. When we are real about it then God can get real about helping us.
2. TALK ABOUT IT
“For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight…” – Psalm 51:3-4
Confess it! Talk about it to God and to others (1 John 1:9 and James 5:16). Don’t keep it bottled up otherwise it will eat you alive. The confession of our sin releases God’s forgiveness and healing in our lives.
“Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” – Psalm 51:6
Repent! It literally means to turn around and go the other way. Choose to walk in truth and wisdom and make a 180 degree turn. If you don’t want to get burned again, then get away from the fire.
4. RECEIVE STRENGTH
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10
Ask God to give you the strength to move on. Once you have poured yourself out to God, it’s important to get filled back up with the proper thing. A pure heart and strong spirit is what will keep you on the right path and help you to avoid the same mistake again.
5. MOVE FORWARD
“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” – Psalm 51:12
Walk in your new freedom. If you are forgiven and free, then act like it. Often times we open the door again to shame and guilt from the enemy and go right back to a place of bondage and defeat. The Bible says that we have right standing with God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). That means you and God are tight. So don’t make it awkward and keep bringing it back up, because God isn’t awkward about it nor is He holding it against you. Don’t let your mistake determine your future.
Even though King David made a big “oops,” he got back up, made things right, and he is even known as a “man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14 | Acts 13:22). In the end, he wasn’t remembered for the mistake he made, but how his heart responded to the mistake. I believe that the same can be true for you and I.
It’s time that we get real, talk about it, turnaround, receive strength, and move forward into all the God has for us!
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.Pslam 51:10 NKJV