Will I Ever Overcome the Consequences of My Past Mistakes?

Dr. Mel TavaresBy Dr. Mel Tavares7 Minutes

We all make mistakes, but not all mistakes carry the same level of consequence for the mistake. There is no one reading this that has not made regret-filled mistakes. Most mistakes are a result of poor choices made in response to circumstances of life.

With or without Christ, consequences are inevitable when a mistake is made. Typically, the bigger the mistake, the bigger the consequence. Christians are not exempt from having to pay the consequence, even when unintentional errors are made. You may be reading this as you are reaping the consequence of earlier actions. I want to give you hope in the beginning of this article, by letting you know that God is a God of redemption. He will use your situation for good, if you will let Him. He will help you overcome.

The Key to Overcoming Mistakes

The key to overcoming the consequence of past mistakes and preventing future mistakes is discovering what led you to making the mistake and how to prevent a reoccurrence. People who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are subjected to merely the psychological process of behavior modification while those who have a personal relationship with Christ are able to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit to assist in changing behaviors and overcoming mistakes.

Seven Steps to Overcoming the Consequences of Past Mistakes

  1. Identify the problems that have resulted from the mistake(s). List them out so you can look at them in black and white, rather than letting them rumble in your thoughts. The enemy of your soul (Satan) will try to keep you fearful of what lies ahead. God is merciful and 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” No fear. Just list out the realities.
  2. Take responsibility and accept that you made the mess and you need to fix it. Taking responsibility and confessing your wrongdoing brings freedom and allows you to regain control over your emotions. Satan will try to bring condemnation, but the Lord says in Romans 8:1 (NKJV) “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.”
  3. Remember what you still have. You may have lost a business, a marriage, a child. You may be facing jail time; you may have to sell a home to pay restitution for actions. Make a list of every positive and good thing you still have. Not one or two. Keep praying and writing until you have at least ten positives on your list.
  4. Trust the Lord and believe Jeremiah 1:29 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” If you repent, God remembers your sin no more. You are not finished and God is not finished with you. He loves you. He will use your mistakes to bring spiritual growth in your life and in the lives of others if you are willing.
  5. Ask yourself hard questions. While you should not dwell on the mistakes, there are productive benefits to reflecting for a moment. Ask “What went wrong?” “What will I do next time?” “What lessons can I learn from this?” Answering these questions puts you on the offense against the devil who comes to steal, kill, and destroy you. (John 10:10) This is an important part in overcoming consequences because it gives you the ability to reflect and determine never to repeat the mistake, setting you up to move forward.
  6. Remember that your mistakes do not define you. You are not the sum of your mistakes. As a person, you are separate from the bad choices you have made. Your past does not define you. Failure is not fatal. Scriptures tell us of David, John Mark, Paul, Peter, and many others who made mistakes and had to overcome the consequences of their sin. When we think of each of these, we think of their godliness and all they did for God, not for previous mistakes made.
  7. Let God continue to write your story. Overcoming is a process and a choice. Follow the steps outlined as the beginning of your next chapter. Stay in close fellowship with the Lord, the local church, and other believers in Christ. Seek counseling if needed and find a couple of people to pray with and hold you accountable as you transform to an overcomer.

I pray you find courage and strength in the Lord as you face consequences of your mistakes and you accept the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the love of God as you work to overcome the consequences of mistakes you have made. We serve a God who takes our defeats and mistakes and uses them for good. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

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