Posted by: mikenicholsblog | February 20, 2017

forget regret

Honesty would profess that I struggle with frustration over the mistakes and failures that seem to follow me. That’s a fancy way of saying, “I can’t believe that I do some really dumb things.” But I do and, admit it or not, so do you. A good example would be what I did recently. For my wife’s birthday, I sent her to Nashville to see our daughter. In making the reservations, I inadvertently typed March 9th instead of February 9th.  That little mistake (failure) cost $180! Before laughing, consider that you have probably made a few mistakes (failures) of your own — but since you don’t write articles, the world doesn’t know!  Seriously, our minds tend to focus on our failures and weaknesses while forgetting the good things God accomplishes through us.

Each one of our lives is littered with moments we wish we could take back.  God understands those moments, and meets us with open arms when we come to Him with our failures. In choosing to focus on regret, we miss the moments of boundless grace so freely offered by our Father.

In our reading last week in the book of John, Peter and Philip had some less than stellar moments. God is gracious in letting us see some of the failures of His disciples. As you read the words of Brennan Manning in, The Ragamuffin Gospel, embrace your weakness and focus on the beauty of His love for us.  In prayer one morning, Manning heard a word from the Lord:

Little brother, I witnessed a Peter who claimed that he did not know me, a James who wanted power in return for service to the kingdom, a Philip who failed to see the Father in Me, and scores of disciples who were convinced I was finished at Calvary. The New Testament has many examples of men and women who started out well and then faltered along the way. Yet on Easter night I appeared to Peter. James is not remembered for his ambition but for the sacrifice of his life for me. Philip did see the Father in Me when I pointed the way, and the disciples who despaired had enough courage to recognize Me when we broke bread at the end of the road to Emmaus. My point, little brother, is this: I expect more failure from you than you expect from yourself.

It’s only Monday, and you and I will fail this week — of that, we can be certain!  Be even more certain of the truth that the Father will not stop loving you.  Choose this week to run the risk of failure with a fully devoted heart.  Listen to the words from the chorus of a hymn I remember first hearing as a child … “Only one life, so soon it will pass, only what’s done for Christ will last”.  With eyes that are open to others, there will be opportunities for you to bless and serve this week.  If we spend too much time focused on our own agenda (selfishness), or failures, the what’s done for Christ” may never happen.

So as we begin another week, let’s embrace our weaknesses, risk failure (remember He already knows we will fail), and be a conduit of the grace He so lavishly gives to us.  Those in our lives need us to live this way.

For the sake of Christ, then, I am
content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
II Corinthians 12:10

Embrace weakness, accept grace and forget regret!

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Responses

  1. Good Words Mike. Thank You for this. I’ve been wanting to get the Ragamuffin Gospel and now I’m going to go get it.


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