Mistakes Are Inevitable

Mistakes Are Inevitable

We all stumble in many ways.
—James 3:2

In this new year, we are learning about how to have a second chance in life after we make mistakes. The first principle God’s Word reveals about our mistakes is this: Mistakes are inevitable. We all make mistakes.

I think it’s important to understand that not all mistakes are the same. Mistakes come in a variety of different shapes and sizes.

Slip-ups are minor mistakes that have few consequences.

Not long ago, our church hosted a Dinner with the Pastor to allow guests to ask questions about the church, our ministry, our theology, or me. During the dinner, a woman asked, “Pastor, what is the most embarrassing experience you’ve ever had preaching?” I immediately thought of something.

It was the Sunday before Christmas, and the church was packed. I was preaching with great enthusiasm, pointing out the irony that the Son of God was born in the insignificant city of Bethlehem. And with great gusto I said, “It was the tiniest city in all Judea.” But instead of saying “city,” I slipped and used a rhyming word. As soon as that word slipped out of my mouth, I felt as if time froze. The choir tried to suppress their laughter, but finally their chuckles spilled over into the congregation and everyone started laughing. Now that was a slip-up. The only consequences were a little embarrassment and the clip of my mistake being replayed at every staff Christmas party for years to come. We all have slip-ups like that.

Mess-ups are bigger mistakes that usually carry more painful consequences.

A few years ago a couple drove past a beautiful home that was for sale, and they said, “This is our dream house.” The real estate agent advised them to buy it quickly, because the market was really hot. Although the couple owned an existing home, they decided to go ahead and make an offer on the new one anyway, hoping their current home would sell quickly. But for many months they owned two homes with two mortgages, and they were almost depleted financially. Eventually they sold their former home and now no longer experience the financial and emotional consequences of their mistake.

The consequences of slip-ups and mess-ups are very real, but they are not long lasting. Tomorrow, we will look at a third category of mistakes, which have life-altering consequences.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Curtain Doesn’t Come Down When You Mess Up” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.