Blessings are hidden in our mistakes

Blessings are hidden in our mistakes

Iwant to tell you about one of the worst mistakes I’ve ever made.

When I answered a call to serve in vocational ministry, God blessed me with incredible mentors who, verbally and by example, helped equip me to serve the kingdom. Those men drilled into me an uncomprimising duty to preach the inerrant Word of God. They taught me to sacrificially shepherd the people the Lord placed in my care. I watched and learned as they cast vision and executed strategy. 

So when the Lord opened a door for me to serve as the lead pastor of a church after working as an associate pastor for several years, I felt like I was ready to minister from a pretty strong foundation. But there was a problem. Woven throughout my strong ministry foundation were hairline fractures caused by the stress of a few lies I had started to believe.

The first lie was that serving on a church staff would give me more time to spend with the Lord. The second lie took a similar shape: When God called me to serve as a lead pastor, I figured I wouldn’t have to fight as hard for my time with the Lord like I did as an associate pastor. After all, my responsibility to study and preach the Word of God each week necessitated biblical proximity, right? The third lie might have been the most damaging of all because it sounded so noble: Giving up my time with the Lord was acceptable as long as I was doing something for the cause of ministry.

It was a devastating mistake for me to believe these lies. Before long, I found myself effectively ministering to others while simultaneously depleting myself. Spiritually, I was running on empty.

"I learned that anything we do through the call of ministry for the cause of the kingdom must be an outgrowth of a personal, intimate walk with Jesus."

God redeemed this very difficult season in my life by teaching me truths I don’t think I would have learned any other way. I learned that anything we do through the call of ministry for the cause of the kingdom must be an outgrowth of a personal, intimate walk with Jesus. To approach ministry any other way is to engage in spiritual battles in our own strength, and, friends, no human being can carry that kind of weight.

I hate making mistakes. They can be painful, frustrating, and embarrassing. But they are also gifts. God can redeem any mistake. Because of this, the older I get, the less I want to hear about someone’s successes and the more I want to hear about the mistakes they’ve made and how the Lord used them in amazingly redemptive ways. I think the best stories—the real ones—recount how God can take what seems like the worst mistakes of our lives and craft them into something beautiful, something poignant. 

Mistakes are rarely terminal and they aren’t ornaments of shame hanging upon the boughs of our lives. 

They are opportunities for God to grow us and teach us more about our need for Him—
if only we will embrace them for what they truly are. 

Digital Editor
Jayson Larson
Southern Baptist Texan
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