Have you ever made a mistake, but not recognized that it was a mistake until after you did it? That’s where I am today–in a state of remorse, reflecting on some really stupid things I did this week. Not that “stupid” is a stranger–I come face to face with my own mistakes regularly, mostly after I’ve made them. No matter how old I get, or how much experience I have, what Bill Johnson calls “the spirit of stupid” dogs me.It’s humiliating.
It’s also humbling. There’s nothing like making mistakes to keep my feet firmly planted in reality. Mistakes help me accept the mistakes of other folks, and to be gentler than I’m prone to be with their failings. After I make a mistake of my own, I tend to soften my attitudes toward everyone else. My mistakes produce an attitude adjustment. Have you noticed that too? Maybe our capacity for continual, sometimes monumental mistakes are Gods way of keeping us honest.
We have a limited capacity to forgive each other. It’s easy to get uppedty about other folks. Psychologists call it “projection.” We tend to get irritated by other people’s mistakes because they remind us of our own failures. However, when we make a mistake that is so obvious, we can’t blame it on someone else, that self-awareness teaches us to go easy on everyone else. So, mistakes are a good thing, right? 🙂
At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.
“The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants.
debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.
“The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back. ‘Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt. “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’ “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid.
When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king. “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.” (Matthew 18:21-35)