Not every mistake I make has the same effect on my life, therefore, I regret some mistakes I have made more than others. The good thing about mistakes is that you can correct them. The bad thing about mistakes is that sometimes the effect is so severe or the damage so unrepairable that you can’t just erase them and start over.
When I was in elementary school, my teachers would correct my papers for me. As I got older, my teachers expected me to correct my own mistakes. Eventually, I was not given an opportunity to correct my mistakes, I was just give a score and however well I did determined my grade for the class.
One of the things I made a lot of mistakes on when I was a teenager was driving. I got a lot of tickets and one day two police officers showed up at my home and told my parents they had a warrant for my arrest. I was taken to jail and had to appear before a judge to determine what my punishment would be.
I think the worst mistake I have ever made in my life happened when I was 14. It really wasn’t that bad as far as what I did wrong, but the effect changed my life and there was no way to correct it or repair the damage after it happened. It was one of those wrong place, wrong time scenarios that resulted in me being raped and losing my virginity to a man that would best be described as despicable. This year marks 40 years since that fateful day and I still have not completely recovered.
God knows we are not perfect and doesn’t take pleasure in seeing us suffer for our mistakes. In fact, the reason he sent Jesus to save us is so we wouldn’t have to be punished for our mistakes. In the Promised Land, there were designated cities where a person could take refuge. It says in Joshua 20:3 that if someone killed another person as a result of a mistake, the killer could flee to one of the cities of refuge and be safe until his case had been judged.
Not every church is a safe place for people that have made mistakes, but I believe the reason God established the church in a physical form was so that people would know where to find him if they got into trouble. Ultimately, God is our refuge because it is his protection we need when we have done something wrong. After I was raped, it took me six years to make my way into a church. It wasn’t until I was desperate and in a way, running for my life, that I was willing to seek refuge in the arms of God. Perhaps the real mistake was that I waited so long.