Learning From Mistakes
I remember first going into ministry and wanting to do everything right. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to do it right. But I have learned over the years that things are not always going to be flawless. I have often said that I would much rather have a 300 batting average and succeed in some areas that I never dreamed would happen, than have a 1000 batting average and succeed in safe things. I know way too many people who play it safe and try to do things that are comfortable and easy. They may have a good track record but their track does not go very far. That may answer the question, “Why do some leaders thrive while others do not in the exact same circumstance?”
What would have happened if Joshua buckled under the pressure of following one of the greatest leaders of all times? In Deuteronomy 31, Moses is stepping down and handing the baton off to Joshua. In the midst of it he addresses Joshua and says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)” Moses knew that a young leader can be terrified with the thought of the unknown. Shrinking in times of uncertainty can tempt any leader. But the words ring loud and clear and Moses tells Joshua again in front of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
This principle can be applied to leadership and also our walk with Christ. Playing it safe can lead to mediocrity. Someone once said that the only mistakes you can learn from are the ones you survive. One of our fears is not surviving a mistake so we play is safe. Instead of living in fear, stay close to the Lord, own up to your mistakes, be consistent in your walk, and allow God to stretch you through it all. If you apply those, you will survive because of Christ’s love. I would much rather take some risks and try new things than not and accomplish less. Even baseball players make it in the hall of fame with a 300 batting average. That is 3 out of 10 hits. Why not make it in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11) by letting God to stretch you to new heights by following Him no matter what the risk?
It was so good to be together last Sunday afternoon and celebrate with the Body of Christ people’s profession of faith through Baptism. God is so good to us. I was blessed when I heard someone following the picnic say that they would not have missed it for the world. Good times!
May God remind you today, “Be Strong and Courageous!” Attempt things that further the Name of the Lord and make an impact for His Kingdom. Know that the Lord goes before us when we call His name. You will be blessed and so will others around you.
Joy in Jesus!