As his men, we’re called to be like Jesus. We’re commanded to love just like he does (John 13:34-35). That’s a tall order. It’s easy to feel less-than-qualified, what with all our faults and bad choices, both intentional and unintentional. In fact, it’s easy to feel totally disqualified. Our mistakes—we carry their shame, we try to forget them. But we can’t forget. So we hide them instead, hoping, at least, to appear qualified. But they’re always there. And the thing is, when everyone else is hiding their mistakes too, it can feel like we’re the only ones with failings. So, not only do we feel disqualified, we can also feel separate.
But our mistakes don’t separate us from everyone else. They actually connect us. Whether we admit them or not, they’re one thing we all share (Romans 3:23). Our mistakes make us human. They also don’t disqualify us from the call to love like Jesus. You see, Jesus knows our mistakes; we can’t hide them from him. And yet he calls us still. We must confess and repent the mistakes we’ve made—and try to make fewer going forward—but Jesus doesn’t give up on us because of our mistakes (Mark 2:17). And, in fact, our mistakes (and the darkness that follows) can actually prepare us for his call. They can prepare us to love. They can teach us compassion and humility. They can also give us the authority to speak, as men who’ve been through darkness and pain, and who’ve returned.
Make a list. Write down mistakes you’ve made. Pray over them. Consider how you’ve grown from them. Consider how God might be redeeming them—how they might have actually prepared you to love and help those people for whom your heart moves.