“Mistakes are the portals of discovery” ~ James Joyce
Mistakes are an inevitable part of life. Some may think contrary, but this would be to their own detriment.
Biblical authors are quick to point humanity to their inability to overcome failures and mistakes, something that often characterizes human nature. The apostle James discusses this nature in chapter 3 of his letter.
“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body” (2).
Notice, James includes himself in discussing the shortcomings of the human tongue. Likewise, Paul made a sobering statement in Romans 3:23.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
That’s the problem right? Falling short? From my experience, I find this to be one of the most frustrating situations to be in.
Words like “unqualified,” “failure,” and “regrets” sting like salt water in an open wound.
Nonetheless, I do not expect this guilt to constantly bear down on everyone. The natural human response to these problems is to suppress them!
My urge however is this-
Avoid that urge.
Because truly, mistakes are portals to discovery. It is by mistakes, that innovation is birthed to avoid mistakes. Some of the world’s greatest inventions were molded out of the skeleton of a mistake.
This list includes: Penicillin, pacemakers, super-glue, and… Popsicles?
I do not say this to glorify mistakes, rather the opposite. Mistakes elicit responses!
For instance, humanity’s fallen nature elicited a gracious response from God.
By the grace of God, He did not want to leave us drowning as we reached upward to Him and therefore His glory.
Continuing on from Romans 3:23, we read that,
“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26).
Simply put. God redeemed us from the bondage of sin, by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Now, by identifying with His righteousness, we have access to the throne room of God and His glory, which formerly-
We had none (Romans 3:23).
With this in mind, words like “unqualified,” “failure,” and “regrets” have no bearing on us. They are replaced with words like “love,” “forgiven,” and “justified.”
So for the person seeking these kinds of words defining their life, begin with a word found in Romans 3:25. “Faith.”
Believe in Christ and His finished, reconciling work on the Cross and His resurrection, and you will be saved (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
For the believer, dwelling on mistakes of the past, turn to His Word for there is freedom there and instruction for righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
And remember, mistakes are portals of discovery!