About our errors

Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:14)

Participating in this spiritual race requires a conversion to God, which enables us to serve him. By creating the world with its chaos, God knows that human activity would contribute to perfecting his work. To take into account the inevitable errors of man, God created the power of conversion. To take into account the unavoidable errors of men, God created the power of conversion. Thus, errors cannot only be forgiven but act as stimulants to do better. “For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again” (Proverbs 24:16). God uses errors to allow us to grow spiritually. That is why the possibility of making errors, stumbling and falling is part of the greatness of man.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win” (1 Corinthians 9:24). The world is like a stadium and life an obstacle race. God places the obstacles on the runway to learn us to cross them in beauty. Of course, he knows that the higher the obstacles are the greater is the risk of falling. The unavoidable falls are the price to be paid to reach the goal of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ. Falls should never discourage us; to moan is a loss of time. Indeed, we have to recognize our mistakes, regret them before rising to continue the race. What God allows in our life is merely an expression of his infinite goodness. Thus, realizing the generosity with which God forgives our errors, we even manage to forgive them ourselves.
We have numerous opportunities to practice goodness. However, if what we do does not result from a choice between good and evil it is not perfect goodness. Because good and evil are not always white and black, it is easy to make mistakes. Evil sometimes resemble goodness as a counterfeit to the original. Choices are then delicate. After having observed the scribes and the Pharisees, Jesus Christ exhorts his disciples: “Therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them” (Matthew 23:3). In other words, the original recognizes itself in the subtle difference that separates “to do” and “to say” or “to be” and “to seem”.
Life is not a game. Every day brings new tests with their probability to make errors. To allow us to go out of it victorious, God created the repentance with its amazing effects. “But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared” (Psalm 130:4). We can turn to God and repent either by fear or by love. The one who repents by fear tries to protect himself from the bitter consequences of his iniquities. To put his life in order is a noble and sensible step. God takes pleasure in mercy: “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
However, he who converts by love does it because he has saddened God and for having failed in his mission to overcome evil with good. Such a conversion gets, beyond forgiveness, a spiritual profit: darkness gives way to light and the offenses are transformed into virtues. Among those who have spent their lives to choose evil many have seen their offenses changed into merits. Thus that criminal who, after spending his life doing evil, turns a few moments before dying towards Jesus and repents by love for God. Moreover, all his criminal offenses are transformed into virtuous merit: “Today you shall be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). That is possible because any conversion brings closer to God "who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4).
To be able to choose ultimate goodness, we must be confronted with evil. If we understand that relation, we would better measure the role evil plays in this world intended to be the show place of God's goodness. Our mission is to reduce the perversity by choosing to always overcome evil with good, and to recycle waste and garbage “in us” and “around us” into useful products. As long as we choose good, evil can only regress… Moreover, if evil does not make more devastation today, it is only because the commandments of God produce slowly its effects.
God is never “elsewhere”! He is present and supports us in all our afflictions. He never leaves us! No matter what we have done: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). By opening our heart, we taste the joy of his presence that makes us say with the apostle Paul, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Christ is part of our lives and we are part of God's life as earthen vessels whose ultimate significance is holiness.