When I Mess Up

Man in mudI have made a mess of my life.

Bad decisions through the years. A string of problems too long to list. I have sinned more than I ever care to confess.

How about you?

What bad decision would you like to go back to change, if you had a second chance to make a better one? There are many for me, but one of the biggest ones was a huge financial decision. You know, the bad thing about these decisions is I made them.

I can’t blame God.

I can’t blame my husband or my family.

I made the decision. It was my choice. 

On this particular financial decision, I had my brother and my husband tell me it was not a good idea.

Did I listen? Oh! I heard what they said, but I felt they were wrong. Nope, they were right.  

No one could have predicted how bad the recession was going to hit in 2008. I normally don’t listen to all the doom and gloom, because well, it is gloomy. I like to think sunshine thoughts. Hope and pray for the best. Sometimes this is a good thing. However, this can skew your view on reality too.

I am pretty good with our family finances. However, when I bought the store with borrowed money, then put all the inventory on credit cards I was not thinking clearly. In ten months time I had suffocated myself financially. I accrued enough debt equivalent to the purchase of a small home.  

My Disaster and God’s Grace

In the aftermath of my disaster, I began to realize what a huge mess I had made. The story continues. My husband is laid off from his job in October 2008. Every dime I was making paid for the MINIMUM payments on my credit cards, because this was all I could afford. I was not able to help with our family finances, because of the debt. Thankfully I married a saver, and we were able to live on our savings for the six months my husband was out of work.  

However, his new job did not bring in the same income. We had to continue to use savings each month to pay our family bills, and I was using my income to pay for my credit card payments. 

You get the idea. I made a HUGE financial mess. It took me a while due to my pride to really admit what a mistake it ways to take over the interior design store. I kept thinking I would make enough money to pay it all off in a few years. It has been almost 8 years since I closed the store. I still have about $10,000 of this debt to pay off. A far cry from where I was at before, but still not a good place to be. 

Messy Consequences To Bad Decisions or Choices

Admitting you made a bad decision is the first step in finding a way out. Some decisions leave permeant marks on your life, or they are visible in the form of a child you were not expecting to have as a teen or unmarried woman/man. 

Some decisions have legal consequences like DUI’s, drug arrest etc. The wonderful thing about the God we serve is no matter how bad our decision we make He will forgive us and restore our life.  He can make something new out of our mess. Trite but true, He can make a message out of our mess.

In 2 Samuel 11 and 12 you can read the story of King David who created a huge mess of his life. He committed adultery when he should have been fighting battles with his men. She became pregnant, and he tried to hide it.  His plans for hiding it did not go very well.

God sends Nathan a prophet to confront David. After Nathan shares a story of the rich man and poor man in 2 Samuel 12. David finally sees the glaring mess he has made against God’s glory.  He hurt many people, but David finally confesses to God. He had sinned against Him.  

I finally had to confess to God. I had sinned by not listening to the counsel of my family about the store. As well as, not making a financially smart decision. When I finally confessed to God my sin, I was able to seek His help and guidance.

I continue to seek God to show me how to make better decisions, and to not make the same mistake again. However, I am human. I fail. I fall, and I ask my powerful God to pour out His wisdom on me. When I seek God for his wisdom, he shows me the way to go. 

Show me the right path,O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long, I put my hope in you.
~ Psalm 25:4-5 NLT ~

He has not given me a winning lottery ticket to pay off my debt. I have worked at it the old fashioned way by WORKING to pay off my debt. It has been hard, and there was period of time I did not have a job to even pay the minimums. 

The way out of debt and many mistakes is making a choice to stay out of debt. You can make the choice to not react to people in anger. You can make the choice to stay faithful to your spouse. If you struggle with being attracted to someone else, ask God to fill your heart with love for your spouse. 

The enemy tried to bring me down during this process to make me feel like a complete loser. I learned my credit score does not define me. God does. I had to keep praying the full armor of God over me from Ephesians 6:10-18.  I needed his protection from the attacks of the enemy.

When we are down in the pit fighting the battle to correct our mistake or sin, the enemy likes to kick us. He wants to keep us confused and focused on the problem verses being focused on the Savior, who is refining us through the problem.

I have been humbled through this experience. This has made me more compassionate to others who make big messes out of their lives. Most of the time it is our own bad decisions which leads us down a painful road. We can’t choose what family we are born into, how our parents raised us, or how they handled finances. We can chose how we live our lives, how we handle our finances, and how we treat others. However, the painful road is a school for learning how to do life better from this point forward. 

God is all about redemption. 

God does not shame us. If you ever feel shame because of your sins, it is from the enemy. NOT God. God loves us even when we mess up. He is willing to help us clean up the mess or correct what we can when are willing to admit we have sinned. (1 John 1:9) Once you ask God for forgiveness, you are forgiven. Don’t sling the mud back on yourself.

I really do not like the word sin, but it is the truth. When we are not obedient to God, and do not follow HIS plans and HIS ways then we are sinning against Him. 

Yes, you may need to have some debt to create a business, but you need to have a certain amount of cash to start the business too. I did not have the cash to take over the business. This was a painful lesson to learn. However, I am thankful through all of this we did not lose our home, we were always able to have food, and our son was still able to attend the private school he was attending. 

God provided all we needed. We did not have all we wanted. There were many extras we did not enjoy when times were tough. We didn’t take any extravagant vacations, buy new furniture, or buy clothes unless they were absolutely necessary. We did not go out to eat much or it was really cheap. 

When you and I make bad decisions, the best way to correct them is to seek God’s help. He wants to help us. If we seek him daily, we will make bad decisions less. You are human and so am I.  We will never be perfect. We were designed by God to depend on Him daily. 

Then if my people who are called by my name
will humble themselves and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
I will hear from heaven and
forgive their sins and restore their land.
~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT) ~

When you mess up, and you will.

We all do.

  1. Admit you made a bad decision or said the wrong thing.

  2. Seek God’s guidance on the best way to correct or heal the situation.

  3. Place the Full Armor of God on to protect from making the same mistake again, and from kicking you while you are down.

  4. Remember God always forgives 100% of the time when you confess you messed up.  The is not a license to go do what you want, but freedom in knowing God covers you in grace. He freely forgives, because He loves us more than we can imagine.

How have you experienced God’s

grace when you messed up royally?

Please share in the comments below.

 

 

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About Joyce Glass

Joyce Glass is a writer, speaker, and lover of God's word even more than chocolate! Her desire is to encourage you to walk closer to God. Dig deeper in your faith. Pray in earnest daily for God to teach you His ways, and serve Him right where you live and work now.

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