We have all made messes in our lives. Some small, some life-changing. And we have all said to ourselves from time to time, what have I done?
Now, that sentence has its proper place. When asked with gentleness, and in tandem with the Holy Spirit, and not dwelled on for eons, it can be a life preserver.
As in, okay…deep breath…what did I do that got me to where I am right now?
Ahh, but sometimes, we’re just not that tender with our own hearts, are we? We just aren’t that forgiving and forgetting. And sometimes that sentence turns into…
WHAT HAVE I DONE?!? I AM SUCH AN IDIOT!!! I HAVE RUINED MY LIFE!!!
dwell, dwell, dwell
obsess, obsess, obsess
woe is me, woe is me, woe is me
stuck, stuck, stuck
I have done this.
I have made a mess of things in my life a time or two (hundred).
And I have written WHAT HAVE I DONE on my heart in bold letters and worn it around like a sandwich board for days and weeks and months and even years.
Are you in that place?
Are you shaking your head and looking at the remnants of your self-made burned-down life and you are stuck?
You don’t know what to do next to undo what you’ve done?
You don’t have the motivation or desire or hope to try again?
You don’t have the trust in yourself (the Christ-in-you you) to not mess things up further?
It’s okay. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there.
It’s occurring to me that beyond a gentle, yet honest, self-assessment of our mistakes – so that we may auto-correct and move forward – we are not serving anyone, including ourselves, when we dwell and self-berate ad nauseum.
Yes, there is a place to reflect and make amends or a change or two.
But then there comes a time to move from
WHAT DID I DO?!
to the more loving and much more constructive
what can I do?
As in, okay…deep breath…here’s what I did…and now here’s what I can do with what I’ve done to move myself forward with God’s help. (dot dot dot…fill in the blanks with a prayed-through, doable next step or two…)
So, today, let me challenge you, if this is where you find yourself:
One, ask yourself: what exactly did I do that led me here?
Two, ask yourself: where is here?
Three, ask yourself: what are two practical steps I can take within the next three days to change course?
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
If you feel stuck and need to work with someone to become unstuck, let’s talk.