How Wide Is The Gap …

“For we all stumble in many ways …” (James 3:2)

“Will the person who has never made a mistake in their life please stand up?”  The obvious fact is we all make mistakes and they come more often than we would like to admit or own up to.

Nobody likes making mistakes!  Because of the fact that all of us are human (this is not an excuse) there is no real way of avoiding them.  The question becomes “how do we deal with them when they happen?”

Now we all understand that some mistakes are more serious and have more far-reaching effects than do others.  I might choose the wrong color socks but that mistake won’t cost me anything except a little personal embarrassment.

On the other hand, I might in the heat of a conversation say something that was indeed out of place … a real mistake that might reach further in consequence.  “All men make mistakes, but married men find out about them sooner.” (Red Skelton)

If we are going to ‘grow up’ and become individuals of integrity and character, we must learn to own our mistakes and accept responsibility for them.  When King David was confronted by Nathan, God’s messenger, and finally came to grips with the magnitude of what he had been doing, he exclaimed, “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Samuel 12:13).

  • David recognized the enormity of his willful rebellion against God!
  • David recognized the seriousness in his choice to rely on his own judgment rather than relying on the Lord!

Although some of our mistakes are not as far-reaching as those of David, we must acquire that teachable and humble heart that will not yield to the demands of our ego!

Making our mistakes ought not to lend itself to the making of yet another mistake.  Yet, justifying, excusing and even blaming of others are all fruits of a heart that is not in line with the heart of Jesus Christ. We tell our children when telling a lie not to follow one lie with another, but if we are not careful, it happens anyway with both them and us.

Baseball is a team sport, yet it is comprised of nine men on the field, others in the dugout and the bullpen and the coaching staff.  And all of them make their fair share of errors/mistakes.

The following quote from Rich Hill, starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers: “If you have a bad game, don’t put it on the weather, the umpires, or other players.  And don’t run and hide after a bad game.  If you stand up, people appreciate it.  If you’re not, you’re going to be whipped by the pen (writing).”

So, may each of us learn to accept the fact that we are not perfect!  May each of us learn to own our mistakes and take responsibility for them.  May each of us learn to profit from our mistakes.  May each of us close the gap between our behavior and the teachable attribute of James 3:17.

“We’re all proud of making little mistakes.  It gives us the feeling we don’t make any big ones.” – Andy Rooney

“The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.” – Thomas Carlyle

Bill Fairchild, Jr.

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