Do you ever watch America’s Funniest Home Videos? Every so often, I catch an episode, and there’s always a video montage of people falling. Why is watching people fall down so dang funny? I always feel a little guilty for laughing, but I just can’t help it!
I’ve bit the dust more times than I can count, and my first response is always to look around and see if anyone saw me. It’s not quite as funny when it’s happening to me, but it’s not long before I can laugh about it.
Most of the time, tumbles aren’t a big deal. I fall down. I get back up. I limp to the band-aids and Advil. I move on to fall another day.
Unfortunately, I’m not as good at taking emotional tumbles in stride. When I get tripped up in life, my track record is one of staying down. Shame sure is heavy.
Here’s the thing about staying down.
- Staying down says I reject God’s mercy.
- Staying down says I doubt God’s love.
- Staying down says I don’t believe Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient.
I don’t want to say any of those things. I want to live what I believe.
- I believe God’s mercy is bigger than my biggest mistakes.
- I believe no good thing I do can make God love me more, and no mistake I make can make Him love me any less.
- I believe Christ’s death on the cross was a complete and perfect sacrifice to pay for my sins and for the sins of all the world.
I deal with the consequences of my mistakes every single day. In my finances. In my relationships. In my mental and physical health.
I’m picking through the ruins right now, but I’m not wallowing in the ashes. Shame can only shackle me to the ground if I let it.
Yes, I’ve done my share of falling down, and since I’m human, I’ll fall again. It’s what we do.
Before my next tumble, I have to decide what I’ll do differently. One thing I know I’ll do is pray without ceasing.
When you knit me together in my mother’s womb, you knew I’d be clumsy, careless and crash-and-burn prone. You knew how much I’d fall, but You also knew how much I’d flourish under Your steady hand.
I won’t ask for forgiveness for sins I’ve already confessed. You and I have settled a lot of things, haven’t we? My spirit no longer bears the crushing weight of shame for past mistakes, and for that, I thank you.
But You and I both know I’ll fail again. I’ll say the wrong things. I’ll do the wrong things. I’ll make the wrong choices.
I’ll fall on my face, and the accuser will say, “Aha! There you go again. The only way to keep from falling is to stay down.”
Prepare my heart and mind for that day, Lord, so I’ll be ready with a steely response. An armor of God response. A pray-without-ceasing response.
When I fall, help me remember:
- I’m a sinner saved by Your generous grace. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24 NIV).
- If I own up to my sins, You’ll forgive them. “If [I] confess [my] sins, [You are] faithful and just and will forgive [my] sins and purify [me] from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NIV).
- I’m not a pit dweller. I’m a rock stander. “[You] lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; [You] set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2 NIV).
- I have a race to run. When I fall, I will get up. “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12 NIV).
I’m linking up with my friend Suzie Eller for #livefree Thursdays! Each week, she shares a prompt that has something to do with living out our freedom in Christ. Living free and praying without ceasing go hand-in-hand, so I’m excited to add #livefree Thursdays to my blogging calendar. If you want to join in on the fun, head over to Suzie’s blog and link up!