Mistakes or Decisions

STOP MAKING EXCUSES for things YOU Control; it wasn't a mistake after the first time, it was a DECISION!” Reading this on a social media site immediately caught my attention. A mistake versus a decision. My first reaction was … ‘Ouch! Any bad actions that I take are not permissible after the first time.’ But then I thought … ‘Wait a minute, why is the first time permissible?’

Maybe it’s not. There’s such a fine line between the two. A mistake is “an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong.”
A mistake is printing your term paper on yellow paper instead of white paper. A mistake is grabbing the directions to the interview but leaving your resume on the printer. A mistake is heading West on the Interstate when you’re supposed to be headed East. A mistake could even be thinking an adult is a child or a male is a female. A mistake might even be proceeding through the yellow light instead of throwing your brakes on.

A mistake is NOT the emotional or physical affair you engaged in. A mistake is NOT gambling away your money. A mistake is NOT the black eye you gave or received from your significant other. A mistake is NOT the bruises on your child’s arm. A mistake certainly is NOT the ‘light’ and ANY touch on the child’s rear end or other private part. A mistake is not telling a child to touch or taste ANY of your body parts. A mistake is NOT “borrowing” money out of your company’s petty cash. A mistake is NOT putting your child’s social security number on the credit application. A mistake is NOT entering your bank account information to receive a benefit intended for your employer. A mistake is NOT pulling the trigger on an already cocked gun.
Whether it’s one time or multiple times, some actions and judgments are simply decisions that we make. We use the word “mistake” as an excuse to minimize the impact of our decision. Excuses are tools of weak and incompetent people who fail to take personal responsibility for their actions. When you do it, Own it! You didn’t make a mistake. You made a choice to go against your moral compass. You made a choice to break your marital covenant. You made a choice to allow your flesh to control your mind. You made a choice to take a sip, a puff, or even a ride. You made a choice to allow anger to consume you. You made a choice to stay bound up in your past hurts. You made a choice of what account information to provide. You made the choice to act.

A decision is “a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration.” A decision is not based on the amount of time taken to come to a conclusion. A quick decision. A well-thought out decision. A decision based on every available fact. A decision made in anger. A decision influenced by someone else. Regardless of how we get, a decision is still a decision. The action taken as a result of your decision became your choice.
Using the word “mistake” does not minimize the consequence of your action. The word “mistake” does not justify your action. The word “mistake” does not eliminate the impact that your action has on others around you. We cannot hide behind words. The true reality is that our actions have consequences. We must face them, accept them, and move beyond them.

The good news (YES, there is good news) is that “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7 reminds us that through God’s grace, our sins are forgiven. The mistakes that we make are sins within our life. In spite of them and in spite of our choices, we have a God who still loves us. We have a God who still covers us. God’s grace is sufficient and covers us in spite of ourselves.
Let’s learn together how to walk in the grace we are given. Let’s make proper decisions and minimize our mistakes. Let’s not set a standard of differentiating between one time mistakes and on-going decisions. No more misguided and wrong actions and judgments. Let’s allow our actions and judgments to be God centered, therefore guided and correct. The blood has been shed. Let’s move forward in our redemption.

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