There are just some mistakes that you can hardly ever live down. Mine would probably be wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle “hammer pants” in the 6th grade. In my defense, I was one of the youngest in my class and while most of the boys had moved on to girls, I was still playing video games and watching cartoons. Wait, that’s not much of a defense and I’m still playing video games and watching cartoons. To further emphasize my point – some mistakes stay with you.
|Photo from sxc.hu by Allen Pope|
In reading through Judges, I’m struck by how difficult it is when reading the beginning of Samson’s life and time as a Judge of Israel not to think about the mistakes he made later. I keep thinking, “Sure, that’s cool and all, but you are a moron. I mean how many times did your wife have to betray you before you realized she was setting you up?” Samson’s stupidity is part of his story.
I think back to mistakes I made growing up. I look at friends who made some really big mistakes during their teenage years and early 20’s. Today, Christ has set them free and changed their life. I rejoice and praise Jesus for the transformation. But I think all of us look back and think, “If I had known then what I know now, things would have been different.”
That is not to say that God cannot still use you and even redeem your stupidity. God used Samson’s mistake and subsequent capture by the Philistines to put him in the position to kill more enemies in his death than he did during his entire life. But who knows what Samson could have accomplished had he not loved this world more than God, had his stupidity not prevented him from following God whole-heartedly.
But those moments cannot be changed. Those decisions cannot be unmade. However, we have new choices, different decisions every day. I have a new chance to follow God. I have a different opportunity to seek Christ.
Stupid may stay with you. To my chagrin, I’m sure many of my classmates remember my TMNT parachute pants. However, Christ is with you even longer. He is the one who can redeem your poor choices. He can “repay you for the years that the swarming locust ate.” No matter the mistakes you’ve made, no matter the stupid in your past, Jesus can use you and wants to use you. Even if you wore 90’s cartoon hammer pants.