Pastor’s Pen: Learning from our mistakes

We all make mistakes, but we don’t all react the same way.

Last week I had quite a surprise. I opened the paper and saw a Pastor’s Pen that was apparently written by me!

The problem was that I didn’t write a Pastor’s Pen last week. I had totally forgotten.

I figured editor Jim Crees put in an old one. I read the title and didn’t remember it. I searched my computer and turned up nothing. “Maybe I didn’t save it here,” I thought. “I’ll read the article and see if I can remember it.”

As I read, it didn’t sound quite like my style.

It was an excellent article, but I wasn’t sure. I continued to read. At one point, I almost convinced myself that such a good article must have been written by me (no pride there, of course).

But then an illustration guaranteed I didn’t write this article. The author mentioned how his son was now grown and married. There are many things I don’t know, but one thing I do – I don’t have a son … or a daughter, grown or otherwise.

I e-mailed Jim to let him know of the misprint.

He quickly responded with an apology and assurance of a correction. Jim, though excellent at his job, had made a mistake. He admitted it and was ready to correct it.

How many times, though, do we have an opposite response?

I remember as a child breaking the fancy candy dish in the living room. My reaction was to attempt to place it on the table so no one would know. “Perhaps somebody else will knock it off and think they did it.”

Sin is simply missing the mark, the mark of perfection. Jim isn’t perfect. I’m definitely not perfect. None of us is perfect. Romans 3:10 says, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” However, there was One. One who was fully God and fully man. “One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin”. That One is Jesus Christ. Through Him we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace.” (Hebrews 4:15-16).

Yes, you make mistakes. Yes, you sin. But you can find mercy and grace if, instead of trying to cover it up, you admit it and correct it by looking to the One who can give mercy and grace.