“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” (Mahatma Gandhi). The adage, “to err is human,” is still as true as when Alexander Pope penned that phrase some 300 years ago. Parents do not expect their children to do everything perfectly – only to try their best. No adult, not even perfectionists, do everything perfectly.
God knows that we are imperfect, faltering creatures, is patient with us, providing us his grace and forgiveness when we fail. When we do fail and when God does forgive us, we should learn from the experience instead of beating up on ourselves, or – God forbid – become careless and think God doesn’t mind if we make mistakes. He does care and it pains him just as it does any loving father.
While it is true that we do have the freedom to make mistakes, it is because God made us with the ability and the right to make choices. Having that right doesn’t guarantee that we will never make the wrong choices. We will. In our carelessness we will make mistakes, and our mistakes, our blunders, our sins are costly. They will cost us a relationship with God and often with the very people whom we love the most.
They cost Jesus his life to redeem us from the consequences of our wrong thoughts and actions. Through the knowledge of His love and His sacrifice we have the incentive to make the choice to turn our lives around and begin moving toward Him in faith. When we do that, we will be be made free from sin and its consequences, but that does not make us free to go on as before. We have the responsibility of choosing to obey Him and of living our lives responsibly.
No, it is not the end of the world when we make mistakes. So, don’t despair! Lighten up! Let your mistakes be learning experiences! And resolve to use your freedom more responsibly.