Tonight, I messed up! I admit it, I failed to pause and responded out of frustration. Without going into the entire story, let me just say, my flesh got the best of me this evening! To be honest, the weight of my failure tonight is quite heavy! This evening, I responded to a situation in a manner that left me completely dismayed. It’s not a new issue, actually it’s a long-running issue that I’ve been trying to manage. Actually it’s an issue I have poured my heart out trying to fix for many months, through prayer, guidance, and countless discussions. Yet, despite my best effort the problem continues to rear it’s ugly head. It’s a relationship issue, not in my immediate family, but in a family very dear to my heart! The tears I’ve cried this evening are numerous and the moment I think the tears have stopped, they unexpectedly begin again. At this point I sit in the living room alone at 1 a.m., while my entire family sleeps. I’m wide awake struggling to differentiate worldly sorrow from Godly sorrow, at this point my thoughts and emotions seem to be colliding. The confusion I feel lead me to cleave to the living room couch to pray fervently, open God’s word for wisdom, and ultimately to write this blog.
Immediately, upon sitting on the couch to pray and search the scriptures, God placed this scripture on my heart…
2 Corinthians 7: “Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.”
Here are a few of the thoughts battling inside my heart and mind at the present time…
“What kind of Christian counselor loses their composure? Perhaps, your just a fraud and shouldn’t be counseling people at all? You can’t handle everything in your own life, how can you manage things in other people’s lives? You let everyone down! Your a loser! You might as well quit trying, you always mess everything up!”
Upon reading 2 Corinthians 7:8-11, I recognize immediately the negative thoughts are coming directly from Satan himself, the very one ultimately responsible for the conflict from the beginning. This is the epitome of “world sorrow” at it’s finest!
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Satan hates Christian relationships and he exerts tremendous energy into destroying all good and wonderful aspects of God’s perfect plan. This sudden, yet familiar, struggle jolts my awareness and ignites anger within me toward Satan! At this point, my anger and hurt is directed at the one orchestrating all the conflict and friction, Satan himself.
Other thoughts bombarding my spirit, mind, & soul consist of:
“Crystal, you failed to “practice the pause”! You failed to stop and pray before responding! I am here for you, all you need to do is reach out for me, I am here to give you wisdom and to give it abundantly! Crystal, I am your strength! Seek Me! Ask for my forgiveness! Ask others for their forgiveness. Sweetie, you must now begin to forgive yourself! You are not perfect, I am still in control! Make it right! Take responsibility for where you sinned! Learn from your mistakes!”
As I write out these thoughts, I see God has been speaking to me and hasn’t left my side, even though I messed up big! He also didn’t praise my bad choices, but he lovingly and gently showed me where I had sinned, reminded me of his truths, and guided my heart in the process of righting my wrong! This is “Godly sorrow” and it is painful in a hopeful way, in a way that pulls you towards repentance, healing, and peace. “Godly sorrow brings about repentance, that leads to salvation, and leaves no regret.”
Tonight, I was reminded that in my own strength I will falter and fail miserably! I was reminded of the importance of “never” embracing my fleshly desires, but taking time to stop, pray, and listen before responding in difficult situations. Tonight, God gave me a healthy dose of humility and it was painful and hard to swallow! The most astounding thing is how God used my failure to teach me very important life lessons. He reminded me how desperately I need him. Tonight, God showed me that even when I mess up, he will never leave me, nor forsake me!
Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord requires of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Friends, I am not sure if you have ever messed up in this manner, or if you’ve ever lost your composure in a relationship or conflict. Somehow, I feel I am not exactly alone in my “occasional” mishap and inability to manage my emotions 100 % of the time. The issue isn’t whether we’ll mess up from time to time, we’re human we will make mistakes! The most important thing to remember is the importance of letting down your hurt, pride, and bitterness; To allow God to reach inside your heart and teach you his ways.
It is is my prayer that my transparency, regarding the lessons God taught me in the midst of my failures, will help you in some way.
1.) We all make mistakes!
2.) We all need the Lord.
3.) In our own strength we will fail miserably.
4.) God still loves you, even when you fail.
5.) God can and will guide you through the path of making right your wrongs.
6.) God will use our greatest mistakes to teach us some of our greatest life lessons.
7.) Worldly sorrow will bring you down and render you ineffective.
8.) Godly sorrow brings about repentance, leads to salvation, and leads to eternal life.
9.) Your not alone!
10.) Growing spiritually requires us to be teachable, especially when we’ve failed.
Romans 8:25-30 ” In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
Blessings in humility,