As people, we’ve all made mistakes. At some point in our lives, we’ve all failed at something and many of us have beaten ourselves up about it. To make things worse, others around us oftentimes will not let us forget the wrongs we’ve done, either.
People will judge you based on your mistakes but, as believers, we shouldn’t fall victim to condemnation. Instead of weeping about our failures or quitting because of them, we should learn from them and realize that God can turn it around for our good.
There are two places in the Bible that illustrate this very idea perfectly.
Acts 9:26 (KJV) says, “And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.”
In the beginning of this chapter we see that Saul was a murderer who despised Christians. Yet, we also see that after his encounter with Jesus, Saul became one of the Jesus’ greatest assets.
“Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:13-15 (KJV)
Jesus later changed Saul’s name to Paul, and God used him to write more than a quarter of the New Testament. It was based on Saul’s past actions that the disciples feared him and had no trust in him, but it was because of his transformation that caused him to be accepted among the Apostles…But he had to earn it.
Jesus teaches us to love unconditionally, but scripture never tells us to trust unconditionally. If you ever confuse love with trust, you’ll be in big trouble! Trust has to be earned. Just as Saul had to earn the Apostle’s trust, others must earn our trust.
God specializes in turning adversaries into advocates. If God can do this with Paul, he can do the same for us!
Think about this for a moment. In a jewelry store, they will pull out a black pillow or cloth before showing you the various diamonds. The reason for this is, the darker the background, the greater the sparkle. So don’t worry about what’s happening in this world or how dark your past is, because it’s the darkness we come out of that affords us the greatest opportunity to shine.
Many of us have had costly experiences and have failed in big ways. But if we learn from them, these experiences can become the most valuable and instructive things in our lives and destiny. In God’s hand, your failure can become your greatest asset. Don’t quit because of it, don’t run from it; learn from it!
You are never too broken for God to use you.
Living in Grace and Peace,
Dr. Derek Grier
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