Is Coffee Ever A Mistake?
Because I love coffee so much, I will look for a coffee house wherever I am, prior to doing anything else. When I recently traveled to the Virgin Islands, the first thing I did was search for a coffee house. I even purchased some delicious dark roasted beans from the interesting place that I discovered. I thoroughly enjoy trying to find the best cup of coffee in each place I visit whether it's a small town, large city or far away island. But, I have often wondered if that is ever a mistake. What if I encounter the worst cup of coffee I have ever had? What if I am totally turned off from coffee because I had horrible cup in an uninteresting coffee house. I don't think that will ever happen but, I ponder the mistake anyway. The mistake is simply trusting that people who run coffee houses really understand coffee and know how to make a great cup. Of course, looking at my life in general, I have made many more detrimental mistakes. The Webster dictionary definition of a mistake is, "an action or judgement that is misguided or wrong; faulty judgement." Well, faulty judgement would be my mistake in thinking everyone can make a great cup of coffee. The thing is, that in this life, we will make a lot of mistakes. I mean A LOT of mistakes. Some mistakes are not of our own making and are out of our control, but most of the time, we are in total control of the mistakes we make. I feel like that sounds really judgmental, but because we are human and all have fallen to sin, I know that it is fact. It became fact when the apple was eaten. We became humans who were very capable of making mistakes, even really big ones at one time or another. I recently read a book titled, "The Soul of Shame" by Curt Thompson, MD. He is a physician and a believer. He shared how shame comes out of the mistakes we make. The definition of shame is, "a painful feeling caused by wrong or foolish behavior". This could say, "caused by faulty judgement", or " a mistake". How often have you felt shame for the mistakes you have made? How often do you let your mistakes, or the outcome of them, control your life and lead you in your next behaviors?
Well, just as there is always a good cup of coffee to be found, there is grace for these mistakes from a God who wants to pour it out on you. God will not remove our mistakes from us, but in his ever loving way he will redeem us from our mistakes. Isaiah 61:3 says “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”. This is a beautiful picture of what Christ wants to do for us when we make mistakes and sin. It is a picture of how he wants to take away the shame we can feel when we make mistakes and have faulty judgement. This verse describes how He wants to wipe away the ashes on our foreheads, the mistakes. He wants to take those ashes and replace them with a beautiful crown instead. Christ is a giver of joy, not shame. This verse helps us see that God wants to release us from our mistakes and bring joy to the surface of our lives. He does not brand us by our mistakes, he doesn't even remember them once we repent and ask for forgiveness. He does not see us as our mistakes, so why should we?
We have such a great purpose in our life, serving an amazing God who brings life and not death. When we live in our mistakes and shame we can no longer serve that purpose. This is why we need to lean on God for his redemption when we are feeling defeated and discouraged by our mistakes. He is the only one who can help us see the beauty through the dark, messy ashes. Think about ashes on your hands after making a campfire or cleaning your fireplace. They are sticky. They take soap and hot water to remove. Don't get them on your clothes, they could stain. This is sometimes how I feel about my mistakes when I let them get me down and try to take care of them on my own. How will I ever overcome them? How will I ever make them right with the people they have affected? Do I use soap? Do I ask for forgiveness? How do I move forward?
Because I long for a closeness with God and to do his work while I am here on Earth, I must remember what he says in his word to me, rather than live in the mistakes and shame I have created. Here are a few verses for you and I to hang onto when we don't think we can overcome or live with our mistakes?
Isaiah 43:25: “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
Hebrews 8:12 ESV: “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
Hebrews 10:17 ESV: “Then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
This is God's great grace. This is what we have to put all our trust in no matter what happens in our lives. He is such a gracious God that so wants to redeem us from our sins. These verses also show us about how God's grace relates to his forgiveness. God's power to forgive and forget is so great. So, so much greater than ours will ever be. Once we go to God and ask for his forgiveness, He moves on. Don't get in His way when doing this. Don't continue to live in shame or continue to bring it to Him. He forgave you the first time and he forgets it right then. We need to accept God's grace for our mistakes and continue our purpose in serving Him
here, in this life.
So, what is our next step when choosing to give our mistakes over to God and letting him show us his grace in our mistakes. Well, we must continue to ask for forgiveness. We need to accept and celebrate the great grace upon grace that He gives freely. Then, we must continue to live according to His purpose using our mistakes to point people to Jesus.
You might be wondering if I have found the greatest cup of coffee. Not yet, although I have found a lot of terrible ones and shelled out a lot of money on some awful stuff. Unlike this, though, I have found the greatest way to live, and that is through God's grace.
Now, pour yourself a really good cup of coffee or go to your favorite coffee house, and share your mistakes with God and wait for his grace to overtake your life with a peace you have never known.