Summer 2024

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Friday, February 19

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” — 1 John 1:8

Owning Your Mistakes

We’ve all seen the scenario play out time and time again: A player gets called for a foul or tossed out of a game because of unsportsmanlike conduct and, almost as soon as the umpire or referee has blown the whistle and made the call, the player immediately starts to put up a protest — incredulous that they could’ve possibly made a mistake. Often, we roll our eyes and mutter out loud, “Get over it!” But the truth is, we’re often apt to do the same thing when confronted with our own personal failures.

All of us carry certain regrets over things we wish we’d never said or done, and we’re each likely to pile up many more before our time on earth is over. Yet how we address those flaws and missteps in our life says a lot about who we are and whether or not we’ll learn from those experiences.

Human nature is such that it automatically wants to defend and protect itself. Nobody likes to be humbled over their failures, constructively criticized over their mistakes, and addressed regarding their sins. It’s embarrassing, and we will often fight it as hard as we can. Even for as well as we know ourselves, our default setting is to deny that we’re at fault in situations and to plead innocence. It takes a lot of courage and humility to be honest and accept responsibility for what happened.

We’ve watched sports moments in the past where, refreshingly, a player readily admitted and accepted responsibility for what they did, and was willing to own their mistake. Each time we see this happen, something inside of us applauds and recognizes that’s the right way to handle things. And we wish for the same level of honesty ourselves.

Psalm 51:6 (BSB) states, “… You desire truth in the inmost being.” For followers of Jesus Christ, honesty is an absolute must. Having been called to represent the God of truth, it becomes necessary for a believer to humbly acknowledge their sins and failures, and to welcome their mistakes as their teachers.

When we fail to squarely look our faults in the face, we fail to acknowledge our humanity. We are not God. We are incapable of living a perfect, sinless life. Mistakes, failures and sinful behavior will inevitably come. And the way to becoming more honest with yourself and others when you stumble is to accept and understand God’s forgiveness and grace.

God is a patient Father who understands our inability (of our own accord) to get it right all the time. And yet, we are graciously reminded throughout Scripture that He helps us in our weaknesses (Romans 8:26). He desires that we continue to confess our flaws and depend on Him for abundant grace to keep dusting ourselves off and continuing on.

I know it’s frustrating when you mess up. But just remember: While uncomfortable, it’s always better to own up to the situation than to deny it. Because the truth sets you free, friend, and it never lies. Just like the God to which it belongs.

— Katherine Singer

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