Years ago, I was in an office conversation with co-workers laughing over the fact that no matter how many times we proof a document, it seems a typo or error will be found just after the e-mail has been sent or 1,000 copies have been printed.
“I always wonder what mistake I’ll be remembered for,” someone remarked. Light-heartedly, I said, “We are not defined by our mistakes.”
But, as I walked away I kept thinking about it. Isn’t that something we all need to be reminded of?
Our mistakes do not define us.
Yes, some mistakes are big and are remembered for quite a while.
But they do not define us.
Define means to describe, detail, or to state the meaning of. (dictionary.com)
We can describe our mistakes, but our mistakes do not describe us.
The enemy will try to tell us otherwise. He will tell us that our mistakes are who we are.
You can’t do that; you’ll mess it up, you always do. You’ll never get it right. You’re such a mess.
Remember what you did last week? That’s who you are. That’s what everyone thinks of you.
But God trumps the enemy every time, and He says we are not defined by our mistakes.
God does not describe us by our failures…or our successes—and that’s freeing because God’s love is not dependent on what we do, or fail to do. We are loved by God, not because we are perfect, but because we are His.
He knows we will make mistakes. And from those mistakes comes growth. Our successes and failures may help shape us, but they are not our identity.
We are who God says we are. And God identifies us as His own—Chosen. Forgiven. Loved. Redeemed.
I may make a real whopper of a mistake, one that takes some fixing and apologizing for. But it’s not who I am. And when my co-worker makes a mistake, it’s not who she is.
Remembering this reminds me of grace. The grace God gives. The grace I ask for from others. And the grace I want to extend to those around me.
Our mistakes do not define us. God defines us—as His own loved and cherished children.
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 NLT
By Laura Rath
Used by Permission