Have you ever blown it big time? Made a wrong decision in your life? Gone the wrong direction? I think we all have. So…what then? Are you stuck with it, destined to pay for your mistake forever?
I meet a lot of people who are living by that old saying, “You made this bed, now you have to lie in it.” But I can’t find that in the Bible anywhere! Nowhere does God say, “Too bad you made that wrong decision—now you’re disqualified; it’s over for you.”
No! In fact, I see lots of examples in the Bible of God giving second chances. I read in Ephesians 2:4 that He is rich in mercy and loves you greatly! He’s more than willing to give you another chance.
So what should you do if you’ve made a wrong decision?
Here’s what you do: ask God to forgive you and help you get back on track.
Now, I know there are those who might say it’s not that simple, especially if there are other people involved. Granted, a wrong decision may have set off a chain of events that can’t be reversed, and maybe there are a lot of lives, yours included, that are affected very badly.
But here’s the deal -- we can’t rewrite the past or take back those wrong decisions. Beating ourselves up over it isn’t going to change anything, and it’s going to hinder us (and probably others) from moving forward. It’s also going to make us miserable!
Move On Dot Com
What’s done is done—we have to move on from there. The apostle Paul said it this way, “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).
Now, Paul had some pretty major things behind him to forget. He made a lot more wrong decisions than you have. For one thing, he had a part in murdering Christians! My guess is that you haven’t missed it that badly.
So this verse applies to you and your situation. You can move on from a bad decision. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Be like Paul and put it behind you.
Yes, it’s better to make the right decision the first time, but we humans are far from perfect. Everyone has made some wrong decisions. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down; all that matters is how many times you get back up again. All you have to do is get up one more time than you fall down! You’re only defeated when you give up.
It might take a while, but you can count on God. He knows exactly how to help you get back on track and put things back together, even if other people were involved. He is the God of the second chance. In fact, I once heard someone say He is the God of another chance. That’s good news, because sometimes we even mess up the second chance!
God is incredibly patient with us. He is full of grace and mercy. He doesn’t disqualify us when we blow it. As I used to tell my students in Bible school, “God has only had humans to work with for His entire career—He’s not freaked out over you!”
Psalm 86:15 says, “But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness” (nlt). Micah 7:18 says, “Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in mercy.”
I want to encourage you today, if you’ve blown it, get up and go again. Move on. Put the past behind you and trust God to help you put things back together. He knows just how to do it!
This is an excerpt from Karen’s book “How to Make the Right Decision Every Time: 10 Keys for Finding God’s Direction.” Watch the video and read the first part of the book here.