What do we do when we’ve really messed up—a mistake, or error in our ways, that’s so big, we see no coming back from it?

Jesus’ disciple, Peter, might have wondered the same thing. On the night Jesus was arrested, Peter denied knowing Him, not once, but three times. Peter might have seen no way of coming back from that.

But although Jesus knew Peter would deny Him, He also knew something Peter probably didn’t know about himself. Jesus knew Peter’s potential and who Peter would become. And Jesus knows the same about us.

Jesus doesn’t just know who we are now, but who we can become through Him. Jesus knows we’re going to fail and make major mistakes, but He also knows these are opportunities for growth in our faith, and in who we are becoming. Jesus knows our potential.

Jesus knew Peter would mess up by denying Him, and yet, he told Peter, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19 NIV)

Wow. Jesus knew Peter would be the foundation of His church, even though he knew the mistakes Peter would make.

So, how do we come back from our mistakes? We confess them and ask His forgiveness.
God knows our heart, and when He forgives, He chooses to remember our sins no more. (Jeremiah 31:34)

God forgives us, and we need to forgive ourselves. Forgetting our mistakes is often difficult—there may be consequences to face and lessons to be learned. But when God forgives us, we don’t need to carry the guilt and shame around like baggage. We need to forgive ourselves. If that’s something we struggle with, we can ask Him for help. Forgiveness draws us closer to God, and allows us to move forward in becoming the person He knows we can be.

What can we do to start discovering our potential? Is there any way to do it without going through mistakes?

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Article written by Laura Rath
You can catch up with her on her blog at http://www.laurarath.blogspot.com/
Or you can follow her on twitter @LauraJRath