The Pastor's Peace - July, 2018
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The other day I was cooking dinner at home. The kitchen was hot, and it was late, and I was trying to rush things so that I could finish, sit down, relax, and enjoy dinner. I just had one final topping to chop up, and about half way through the chopping I made a mistake. Chop, chop, chop, ouch, oh my God, and some other words I can’t publish in a church newsletter. I had been doing things too quickly and had sliced up a pretty big chunk of my thumb. I am mostly fine now, after some vigorous cleaning of the wound, and use of super glue, great for keeping wounds closed by the way. In addition to saying all those bad words I can’t publish, I remember being very angry with myself. I thought I was so stupid to rush things and now, at best, dinner was going to be pretty cold, and at worst I would be going to the emergency room; thankfully not.

This is not the first time I have beaten myself up about something, and/or regretted my actions after the fact. We all experience regret and self-criticism of our actions from time to time. The question is, however, did any of that anger directed at myself really help anything? The answer of course is no. Once the deed had been done, being angry about it really does not change anything. Learning from my mistakes and making different decisions in the future is helpful, very helpful in fact, but self-loathing never accomplished anything good. This is important to remember not only when you cut yourself cooking, but for the many ways we make mistakes, some much more serious than a knife wound.

Christ offers us forgiveness for our actions against others and ourselves. Christ does not want us to go around in constant regret, constant guilt, and thinking that we are no good as people. In the Bible Jesus speaks of repentance and forgiveness. In the act of repentance we admit what we have done, take responsibility for it, and try not to repeat the action in the future. These are the steps that are truly helpful after a mistake, and these are the things that Jesus calls us to do. Feeling guilt and self-hate after an event that we cannot change is not what Jesus calls us to. Guilt is what is forgiven through Christ and in return we strive to be better, to be the children of God we are made to be. So as you live life, take your time and don’t rush (trust me), try to live the life God calls you to, and if you make a mistake along the way, take a deep breath, take responsibility, accept the forgiveness of Christ and strive to be better in the future.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian