Using Mistakes for Other’s Faith
Have you ever wondered why our mistakes drive us to hide in shame?
The very first humans, Adam and Eve, hid from their perfect Creator and Companion when they chose to sin. Satan used Adam and Eve’s shame to trick them into hiding from God. If Satan was able to deceive Adam and Eve, how much more are we vulnerable to his lies?
Satan wants to trap us beneath our unhealed wounds, lies, and a false identity. He wants us to define ourselves by the mistakes we make.
Unfortunately, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I still make a lot of mistakes. Some of my wounds have taken years to heal. Others required less time, but nonetheless caused much pain and regret. Regardless of the magnitude, each mistake tempted me to hide, deny, or ignore the my bad choices. Just a few weeks ago a situation rose where I had to choose whether to face or hide from a bad decision.
My ten-year-old daughter significantly struggles with her reading, but, recently, she’s been crushing her reading because she found a new book series captivating. My sixteen year old son wanted to encourage her in her success, so he promised to take her to one of his high school basketball games if she completed her book by a certain date. He knew basketball was her thing, so he used this invitation to motivate her. Amazing, right?!
As I write this blog, my my son’s sweetness is melting my heart. Unfortunately, I not as sensitive the moment he asked permission to take his sister to the game. I didn’t take his request seriously or pay much attention to the heart behind his request because I was distracted. You see, I had already planned a family dinner, created a menu, shopped for groceries and prepped the food. He tried to explain to me that the tickets would sell out fast because this was the last home game, but I didn’t listen because I was focused on my own agenda.
When dinner was ready, he eagerly scarfed down his food and tried to hurry out the door with his sister. To my dismay, I made him wait. My intentions were not evil or unkind. I was just focused on having dinner together- as a family. Finally, I allowed them to leave, but when they arrived, there were no more tickets.
When my son called me, he was completely frustrated (do you blame him?) and I had to resist the impulse to respond with shameful defensiveness and pride. In the past, this has been my habitual reaction. Instead of giving in to my emotions, I took a deep breath, prayed, and let the Holy Spirit speak to my soul. He opened my ears and softened my heart. He revealed my mistake and challenged me sincerely apologize to my children.
They were both unbelievably kind, offering me gracious and wholehearted forgiveness. Thankfully, they understand I’m not perfect. They also know that we ALL need forgiveness.
Perhaps this mistake seems insignificant compared to your past, or even your present mistakes. In comparison to my past mistakes, this one feels minor as well. However, I believe each mistake carries with it an opportunity for growth. Each mistake is a chance for the Lord to guide, teach, and train us in righteousness. And, just as God used my kids to convict me, He often uses our closest friends and loved ones to correct us when we are wrong.
It feels counterintuitive to share my mistakes a mom, wife, or woman with you. I dislike shining a light on my mistakes, but I’ve noticed that when I share my failures, the Lord uses them help my friends walk in true encouragement, authentic humility, and growing faith. When we live in courageous authenticity, we show others how to heal, how to confront Satan’s lies, and how to re-establish their identity in the Lord. This process is not easy, so I want provide you with three ways to turn your mistakes into tools to give others faith.
Guest Blogger: Shawna Asbell
I asked my friend, Shawna, to join the blog this week because she has an amazing story of bravery and redemption. Shawna has been married to Mark for almost 19 years. They have three beautiful children Devin (16), Skyler (15), and Kylee (11). Homeschool mom for twelve years. I identify as an enneagram seven and love spending time with friends, new adventures, and dance parties. Learning and digging into God’s Word means a great deal to me. As I continue to learn and grow in knowledge of God, I realize more and more how “the word of God is alive and active” and I have a deep desire to see others experience the same understanding of his grace, forgiveness, and release through the power of His truth.
1. Fight for Your Healing
If you find yourself running from your problems, or reacting to life from a place of shame, pride, or defensiveness, you may need to start fighting for your freedom. Jesus is able to heal you, but you have to take action.
Healing is important for a healthy soul. It is also essential for the development of healthy relationships and friendships. If I hadn’t fought for my healing, my wounds could have caused me to react improperly toward my son, depositing shame or guilt into his life. Instead, the Holy Spirit gave me the strength to repent and receive my children’s forgiveness. My healing was worth the fight because I was able to show my kids that they too can make mistakes, repent, and receive forgiveness.
What steps do you need to take to fight for your healing? Maybe you need to talk to a pastor, wise friend, or seek counseling?
2. Confront Your Lie
John 8:31-16, Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth,† and the truth will set you free.” “We are descendants of Abraham,” they answered him, “and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’? ” Jesus responded, “Truly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in the household forever,† but a son does remain forever. So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.
If you want to use your mistakes to give others faith, you have to confront the lies in your mind. Satan spins lies in your mind to trap your mind into making the same unhealthy mistakes. I used to live with the lies: you’re a terrible mom, you’re selfish, you’re… But, I’m learning to recognize and confront Satan’s lies. Now, I choose to fight the lies through prayer and God’s Word.
When Satan’s lies invade your mind, pick a story in the Bible, a passage of scripture, or a few verses and memorize them. You can only fight lies if you know the truth.
3. Remember the Truth
Is your identity wrapped up in the mistakes you have made or defined by your Creator and Savior? I often allow the shame from mistakes I made in my teens and twenties define who I am instead of the truth of scripture. Shame, pride, and defensiveness oppress and steal life from our souls. We can’t let them rule over our hearts. Instead, we have to give our Creator permission to define us! Consider these scriptures.
Psalm 139:13-14, For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
The more time I spend in God’s truth, the more His abundant truth sinks deep into my soul. Scripture is full of broken people sharing their broken stories, which provide encouragement, truth, and hope for us in our mistakes. God has given us their broken stories not only to benefit and teach us, but also to point humanity to Himself. These stories prove that when I dare to share my mistakes, He will use my mess for other’s benefit.
And I know that He will use yours to help others if you let Him. When I have fought for healing, confronted my lies, let the truth define me, God has used my mistakes to encourage others. So when you’re tempted to conceal, contest, or push aside your mistakes, remind yourself that God turns our messes into ministry for His glory. Only He is capable of such remarkable redemption and goodness! Amen.
© 2019 Shawna Asbell. All rights reserved
Do you want more?
Friends, this is just a little snippet of Shawna’s story of redemption. In Episode 38 of Overcoming Monday, Shawna tells the rest of her story, and the healing she experienced from a devastating rape which led to unwise decisions as a young girl. In this Overcoming Podcast, we talk about Shawna’s story in light of the Ruth, Boaz and Rahab. If you want to lean in and learn more, check out all of the Ruth season podcasts below!