Less Than Perfect

Yeah… I know.  I crawled out of bed at 3:17am after having laid there awake for about 25 minutes.  Sometime around 4:30am it hit me.  I completely forgot to post yesterday.  Quite honestly, I panicked for just a moment.  My mind raced as to how to solve the dilemma.  Maybe I could write it right then, and no one would realize it.  No, too late for that.  Next option… write two posts right away to make up for missing that one.  Or how about trying to write the absolute best post I’ve ever written to make people forget that I messed up?

Ok, I realize that’s a little dramatic.  And most of those thoughts just shot through my brain in a nanosecond before I came to my senses and thought… it’s just a blog post.  No one’s life is going to fall apart because I failed to post one day.

I seriously just totally forgot to do it yesterday.  The truth is, I was working on my next book, hanging out with my family, and just enjoying this season of life to its fullest.  I thought one time yesterday that I needed to remember to blog. I just made a mistake. Fortunately, I’m not going to get scolded by readers like you.

So, it’s totally not a big deal.  But as I began to think about what I might write today, it occurred to me that this is the story of all of our lives.  We all mean to do well.  We want to do right.  But we make bad choices… make bad decisions… make mistakes… have lapses of judgment.  The Apostle Paul turned the phrase this way in his letter to the believers in Rome, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”

Everyone.  All.  Well, at least I’m not alone in my mistakes.  No one is perfect.  Nobody matches God’s record of getting it right every time.

Great!  Thanks for the encouragement and motivation today, Allen.  This is really an “Up” post.

But wait… it is.  You see, when we make a mistakes… when we blow it… when we make poor decisions… when we flat out choose to do wrong… we often later feel badly about it.  Like I did about missing that blog post yesterday.  I made a commitment, but didn’t keep it yesterday.  So we try to cover it up.  Or we try to fix it.  Or we try to compare ourselves to others.  When what we really need to do is simply admit it, and ask for forgiveness.

You see, Paul didn’t stop at slamming us all with the verdict of “losers who can’t get it right 100% of the time.”  Check out what he went on to write in the next two verses…

Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood.”

What?!  Just say, “I’m sorry.  Please forgive me,”? That’s it?  Just accept that the punishment has already been delivered on my behalf?  Just move on, and try to not do it again?

That’s it.

I mean, I assume we all get that, if we are being forgiven so generously, we will do our best to not make that mistake again.  I know I don’t plan to miss another blog post in light of your graciousness toward me.  And I sure don’t plan to sin again in light of God’s kindness toward me.

By the way, that same Paul who wrote those words kind of had an idea of what it felt like to “fall short.”  He claimed to be the best of the best among religious leaders, but he ended up chasing down, imprisoning, having beaten, and having killed Christians.  He was guilty of multiple hate crimes.  Then he found out that God would forgive him.

And if God will forgive him, I have a hunch that He will forgive you for cheating on that test… taking another sip when things got stressful… going to that website again… lying to your boss… or whatever else you did that I can’t think to list. Or maybe you are lying in a bed, close to the end of your time on this planet, and thinking about all the wrong things you’ve done.  Wow, they can really add up, can’t they?  Don’t worry… He’ll forgive them all in one fell swoop.

We all fall short.  And God raises us up to His level when we ask Him to.

So, I’m sorry I failed yesterday.  No excuse.  No defense.  I fell short.  And I’m sorry it happened. Will you please forgive me?  I promise I will do my best not to let it happen again.

Hey… that might be a pretty good prayer for you to use if you fell short yesterday, too.  Go ahead, you can borrow it. I don’t mind.

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