Sadly, it is a fact that, try as we might, we all fall short of perfection. We make mistakes. This is especially troubling when we stumble spiritually. Some people are so upset by their mistakes, that they decide that there is no use trying to live the Christian life anymore if they are only going to constantly fall short. We need to realize that we are never going to be perfect nor does God expect us to be. If we were capable of perfection, then God would not have needed to make provision for those occasional failures of which we are all guilty. In 1 John 1:8 John writes, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”. John is writing to Christians and even includes himself when he says this. Fortunately, God did make provision for those times when Christians sin. Verse nine of 1 John chapter one reads, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When we realize that we have sinned, we can go to God in prayer, confess the sin to Him, and ask Him to forgive us and He has promised to do so.

When we are disappointed in ourselves because of our weakness, it is helpful to look at the example of some of the great characters of the Bible. Abraham was afraid that people were going to kill him and take his wife, so on two different occasions he lied about his relationship to Sarah (Genesis 12:11-13; 20:1-2). David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) committed adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11). Paul had to withstand Peter to the face, “because he was to be blamed” after Peter set a bad example (Galatians 2:11-15). These great characters of the Bible made mistakes. But they were always willing to repent of their sins and turn back to God. We too can repent when we fail and turn back to God with the assurance that He will accept us. Mistakes are inevitable, it’s what we do after making them that really makes the difference.