I want a church full of people who make mistakes! The only way to never do anything wrong is to never do anything at all –- and that’s the biggest mistake you could make!
Are you afraid to make mistakes for Jesus? I’m not! I would rather go out there and do my best to obey the Great Commission and maybe get something less than perfect than wait until I think I can do it all perfectly. I’d be waiting forever!
I like something Mark Brazee said recently. He said the Lord impressed him with the following: “If you make a mistake trying to follow Me, I’ll cover it!”
I would rather have you fail at doing something than succeed at doing nothing!
There will always be armchair quarterbacks who will criticize you for how you play the game, while they never get in the game themselves. Someone criticized the way Dwight L. Moody did evangelism, and he said, “I like the way I do evangelism better than the way you don’t do evangelism!” I’m with him on that one!
I think one of the biggest things that holds people back as they try to obey God is the thought, “If I try this and make a mistake, God will be mad at me.” Or worse yet, “If I miss God and get out of His will, really bad things will happen to me!” Neither of these is true, yet how many people have been held back by that kind of thought? God won’t punish honest mistakes!
God is a heavenly Father. If your kid fell of a bike trying to learn to ride it, would you get mad at him for falling off? I hope not! I hope you’d say, “C’mon, Junior, get back on that bike and try again! You can learn to do this!”
Here’s a thought that would choke your desire to share the good news of Jesus with others: “I don’t know everything, so I might not have the answer to every question people might have, so I’d better not share my faith with anybody!” Yet God would rather that you let people in on the good news of free life in Christ even if you don’t feel you’d know how to handle everything. I don’t feel like I know how to handle every situation, either, and I don’t let that stop me! Sometimes words come out of my mouth that shock me after I say them and I realize that God was giving me the right answer for a particular person’s question or saying what that person needed to hear.
Don’t you realize that God could forgive you for doing a less than perfect job of telling someone else about Jesus? He’d rather you do it imperfectly than not do it at all.
This doesn’t mean that we adopt an “I don’t care” attitude and just go out and do things sloppily and haphazardly, of course. But God looks at the heart, and as long as your heart is right about something, He can overlook something you might have messed up with your head.
Look at the great leaders in the Bible who made great mistakes. Peter denied Jesus 3 times. David got into an immoral relationship and then had someone killed to try to cover it up. Abraham tried to make God’s plan happen himself. Moses killed a man thinking that everyone would look to him as their deliverer; instead, they just thought of him as a murderer and he had to live on the run for decades! Yet all of these men are now famous – not for their failures, but for their successes that they had as they continued to serve God after their failures. Don’t let your past failures stop you from future successes. The men mentioned above didn’t succeed because they were perfect; they succeeded after some notable failures! If you’ve failed big, join the club. God can still use you if you’re open to Him.
It’s time for Christians to quit asking, “What if I fail?” and start asking “What if I succeed?” Don’t let fear of failure and fear of making mistakes lead you to make the biggest mistake of all, which is to do nothing.