Mess-ups! Would you like to see yours in a new way? A better way?
This article by Lucy Ann Moll, a board-certified biblical counselor on staff at Biblical Counseling Center, appeared first here on her website. It is used with permission.
Mess-ups are mistakes. They also are growth opportunities. God can turn your mess-ups into masterpieces when you choose to see them in a new way, his way.
In this short article, you’ll hear:
- Some of my mess-ups that became pretty.
- The very special God-given instruction to see them afresh.
- How you can beautify your mess-ups too.
My Mess-Ups, Beautified
Friend, in this short list I’ll name just two of my many mistakes.Then you’ll hear about heart change for life change. What mess-ups is God asking you admit? Did you know change begins when you own up to your mistakes? Once you admit them, then you can learn from them and experience uplifting, godly change.
EXAMPLE 1: Stuffing my anger. At early as I can remember, I stuffed my anger and fear. This resulted in discouragement and eventually depression. Then I began to apply this biblical truth to my heart.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15, NIV
Heart change: A desire to obey God and follow his instruction to speak the truth in love, which required me to open my mouth. For me. . .scary!
Life change: As I spoke the truth in love with the person who angered me, I felt peace. . .even when the other person disagreed. I knew speaking the truth in love honored God.
EXAMPLE 2: Fear of disapproval. Years ago while driving on a six-lane highway, I had a freaky panic attack, completely unexpected. I had another one in the same place the next day and the next. Weeks later, I recognized that just before the first panic attack I was playing a bad tape in my mind of a grueling conversation with a coworker. I feared her angst and my boss’ opinion.
‘We must obey God rather than men.’ Acts 5:29, ESV
Heart change: A determination to please God most of all, not people. I had hated people’s disapproval. The strength to obey God grew from learning his attributes while reading the Bible and through prayer.
Life change: With practice, I renewed my thinking and God freed me from panic attacks and people-pleasing.
God’s Special Instruction
The Lord instructs you to build your life on what matters most of all–God’s Word.
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25
The wise build their life on the foundational truths in the Bible. In its pages, you’ll discover
- who God is.
- who you are.
Says Sinclair Ferguson: “Almost every area problem or failure in the Christian live is in some way rooted in the fact that we do not understand or we forget who God is and who we are.” Doesn’t this make a lot of sense?
Beautify Your Mess-Ups
May I challenge you? It’s customary for me to give assignments to my counselees.
Here’s one that helps you know God through Scripture. Open your Bible to Ephesians 1 and begin listing who God is, verse by verse. The first three are below. Keep adding to the list. You may reach 20 or more.
- a grace-giver (verse 2)
- one who blesses (verse 3)
- a planner (verse 4)
When you believe God is who he says he is, your thinking is renewed and you will begin to think rightly. As you think rightly, you will experience peace and contentment. You’ll even see your mess-ups as opportunities to make masterpieces.