Some would say there are failures in life that disqualifies us from being used by God in certain ways. I simply don’t agree with that premise because a God of limitless grace isn’t hindered by our mistakes. The breakdown happens when we get involved and decide that there isn’t enough grace that we can accept someone and what they have done. It is a matter of bias, and that is a delicate and tenuous subject for all of us.
I have biases, and they are skewed based on my life experience. They are founded in my childhood, upbringing, my failures and successes, in my relationships, spiritual life and my depth of Faith, etc. Just as you are equally influenced by the environment and surroundings where you have lived.
Some are very rigid and hold to a stern and austere view of a God of do’s and don’ts; sin, judgement, disqualification, punishment, repercussions, rules, safe while playing within the perimeters laid out in the scripture.
Conversely, it may seem I’m saying that we can allow anything and everything and find immediate forgiveness and a washing clean of the slate? In essence a forgive and forget philosophy. No. There are consequences to our actions and these will sometimes call for a season of restoration in our lives. I know of which I speak for I have been in such a season. During this time God is building in me a deeper trust and faith in Him, rooting out flawed thinking and beliefs that have separated me from truth, creating a greater abhorrence for sin, and cleansing my mind and heart with great renewal and hope.
This is without a doubt a life long process for all of us. It doesn’t matter where we find ourselves, we have not “arrived”. When we are really honest, we can always find areas in our lives that could stand some renovation.
David is the premier biblical poster child for moral failure, turning lust into an adulterous relationship, and in then murder; there were a multitude of consequences he suffered for his actions.
[A David Psalm, After He Was Confronted by Nathan About the Affair with Bathsheba] Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down.
Another well-known failure was Moses who got out ahead of God, he also murdered a man and that cost him decades in the wilderness. God still used both men for great things, though they failed miserably they were ultimately restored. I find that humility is one of the most important traits to find deliverance from ourselves, and it is exemplified many times over in the scripture. The responsibility we have as Christians is living as He has taught us, and because of our love for Him it will become our joy to do so.
God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet. He showed Moses how he went about his work, opened up his plans to all Israel. God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear him. He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud. Men and women don’t live very long; like wildflowers they spring up and blossom, But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly, leaving nothing to show they were here. God’s love, though, is ever and always, eternally present to all who fear him, Making everything right for them and their children as they follow his Covenant ways and remember to do whatever he said.
God loves you. If you’ve messed up, big or small, for everyone to see or just you and God know, do what’s right. Repent and seek His forgiveness, make restitution as best you can, learn from your failure and move on and be stronger.
Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.
Our mistakes haven’t doomed us to a life less impactful and nullified Gods purposes through us, they have served to bring us closer to Him. And I would add that it has given us purpose in helping others avoid the pitfalls that once ensnared our lives.