This will be pretty simple, because I just have this feeling that I need to write this topic in a cut & dry fashion. When we mess up, what should we do? The message rang out clearly through John the Baptist and through Jesus Christ - Repent!
I confess that just a few moments ago I had to deal with the conviction of the Holy Spirit. And when I say I had to deal with it, I mean He had to deal with me. It would be so cool to walk through this life without getting a stain on my soul, because messing up in any way gives me the worst feeling! I don't want to disappoint my Lord, and I have the tendency to feel like I need to earn my way back into His good graces.
I feel the need to encourage others in what to do immediately after a mess-up...be it a slip of the tongue, a deliberate act of disobedience, or a flat-out face-plant. It is flesh instinct to shrink away from the Lord as in the situation with Adam and Eve. However, hiding from Him never makes the guilty conscience subside. I offer you another route to take, and it isn't a new plan or a quick-fix. It is truth.
Repent. Admit that what you did, said or thought was wrong, and then decide to bring it to the Lord in true grief over it. Then - the kicker in this whole process - walk away from it with the grace of God.
Like I said, pretty simple. We are not perfect, and the accuser can have a field day with it if we let him. I dare you to beat him to the Lord in repentance before his accusation can ever be heard. It feels great to make the father of lies an even bigger liar.
So, in a nutshell - just do what's right when you do what's wrong. Just repent.
Father, thank You for Your mercy. I know that Your grace is sufficient to keep me from slipping, but I am so thankful that Your grace is also sufficient to pick me up when I do. You are so good. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Matthew 3:1-2, Mark 1:14-15, 1 John 1:9, I John 2;1-2