God Versus Our Mistakes

nblomblr asked a question:

Is God sovereign over our mistakes?

Hey dear friend, I believe He is. However, I see what you mean by the question.  There’s a double-edge to it, because if “God is in control,” that means we’re not responsible for our actions and we could do what we want. But if God is not in control, then He wouldn’t be God either.

I can’t hope to fully explain the whole thing about sovereignty and our responsibility, because this is a paradox and my 3 lb. brain is allergic to paradoxes.  But I do believe that God is somehow both in control while we’re each responsible for our choices. I don’t know how it reconciles. C.S. Lewis offers a little help when he says,

“Whatever you do, He will make good of it. But not the good He had prepared for you if you had obeyed him.”

I leave a few things to mystery. I hope that’s okay. I know our Enlightenment-conditioned minds are afraid to do this: we all have this wild urge to make narrative sense of our lives because we’re so trained towards Westernized formulas. Growing up as an Easterner, the “mystery” part was never a problem for me. I left some things to the unknowable void of human limitations and bowed down to a universe I could not always understand. This isn’t satisfying, but neither is trying to understand dang near everything. As the priest said in Angels and Demons,

“My mind cannot comprehend … my heart is not worthy.”

But to answer closer to home, I do believe God works with our mistakes.

I mean if God can work with a dead person like Lazarus or a cheating playboy like Matthew or a murderous terrorist like Paul, then He can certainly work with you and me. While we could definitely miss a second chance with people or earthly opportunities or the job interview or the college of choice, I believe God always gives second chances with Him, no matter what. I’m learning this is the most important thing.  It’s the fact that He gives us endless grace which allows us to be okay with failure at all.

At the same time, I see grace as both God’s embrace and God’s empowerment, so that my “mistakes” could be learned from as a platform for better.  I can have the honesty to see my wreckage and own my part without being crushed by condemnation, because God always meets us there with healing.  The honesty needs to be there though, because most times, our mistakes are actually just rebellion.  Yet still, God extends His hand, as always.

— J.S.

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4 thoughts on “God Versus Our Mistakes

  1. …So God is in control of us making irresponsible choices as well? Then surely its His fault??

    And surely having enlightened minds is a good thing? Why would we leave things to mystery? How else would we make advances in science, medicine, technology, etc? Seeking answers is how we cured polio and put a man on the moon.

    So you’re saying God would have given a second chance to Bin Laden? If he was, then my money is on him getting his hands on a nuke.


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