When we mess up…

I’ve been reminiscing quite a bit lately. It’s amazing how God can use your life experiences to teach you a lesson for today.

When I was in high school, more precisely — my senior year, several of my best girlfriends asked me to go with them to Florida on spring break. Of course I said yes! The bad thing was, I made a commitment before asking my parents. I just knew they would let me go(!), so I told my friends to count me in.

The bad news was, I was dead wrong. My parents looked at me like I was crazy when I brought it up. They told me to tell my friends that I couldn’t go and that I should do that as soon as possible. They would ask me day after day if I had, and I would become defensive and insist that I was going to at the right time. However, I waited until the last minute to tell my friends that my parents said NO WAY. You can imagine their frustration when they finally learned that I wouldn’t be going nor pitching in for a hotel room or gas. They were mad, and I was devastated because I had screwed up.

I will never forget when one of my teachers stopped me in the lunchroom and said, “Hey, Hittle (my maiden name), you ok? You look as though you’ve lost your best friend.” Little did he know, I had. My “best” friends weren’t talking to me. I didn’t think they’d EVER forgive me. What a horrible way to end my last year in high school.

I don’t recall when, maybe after they went on their trip, they started talking to me again. One particular friend told me she could never be mad at me forever, but admitted she was pretty ticked for a while. I didn’t blame her one bit, however, there was nothing I could do to change things other than apologize.

What a huge valley I was in. I felt like my life revolved around apologies and trying to make people trust me and like me again. It was such a bad place to be in, and I knew it was all my fault.

So how does this tie in with life today? My Heavenly Father tells me in His Word to share the gospel and let others know how much Jesus loves them. He tells me to be honest with them, that there will come a day when they will have to face their Maker (like I will) and be held accountable for their actions. There will be a day when people either go to heaven or to hell, and He tells us that….today is the day to tell people — in love, the truth — even if they think you’re crazy — tell them. This is why I share my faith. I want others to experience His love and grace. I don’t want to meet Him face-to-face and hear Him ask, “Why didn’t you tell them?” or “Why did you wait?” We already know how THAT works out when you procrastinate or fail to do what you are told to do.

If you don’t believe, that’s on you. But if I don’t share, that’s on me. You are loved unconditionally beyond measure — that’s on Jesus.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Matthew 28:19-20

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