“But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace to me was not without effect.
No, I worked harder
than all of them—yet not I,
but the grace of God that was with me.”
1 Corinthians 15:10
“How have I let people down today?”
When you ask yourself that above question, it’s a bit sobering, is it not? When we start thinking about how often we let people down or make mistakes in life, it can definitely change how we view the world and ourselves.
As a Communications major, my job is to create messages that are understandable. People count on me to transmit thoughts and ideas that will sound the same to everyone’s ears. I also have to interact with people on a one-on- one basis, whether in email or in person. When I miscommunicate or don’t handle the situation correctly, sometimes people can get angry, confused, or sad. When that happens, I do wonder, “Have I let that person down?”
There’s a lot of mistakes made in our world every day. Just flip on the news and see how many instances you can count where someone makes a mistake, intentionally or not, and causes a problem. Are these people letting others down through their mistake? Since we make mistakes all the time, will we perpetually let people down?
Based on my experience so far in life, I think we will certainly let people down all the time. Your worldview might be in this state right now, focusing on this sorrow of life. This is something that I often ponder, especially when reviewing my day. However, instead of this negative viewpoint, you and I can try to focus on the positive.
In such a broken, evil world, the Son of God came to save us. Definitely not because of anything you or I did, but because of the true, unselfish love God had for us. Make no mistake; it’s the grace of God by which we will have life now and forever with Him.
I can remember this fact every day because back in the 8th grade, our confirmation pastor had us pick out Bible passages that would act as our confirmation verse. He had picked out 21 passages for our class of 20 kids to choose from, and for some reason, decided to let us choose in reverse-alphabetical order by last name. With “Anderson” as my name, that meant I only got to choose from two Bible verses. One of them I do not remember, but my confirmation verse was now this:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. -Ephesians 2:8-9
This passage, along with 1 Corinthians 15:10, work hand in hand to dispel any thoughts about our detrimental actions to the world and people around us. The way we are now was carefully constructed by God to serve His purpose. We certainly cannot save ourselves, so instead, God’s love and grace is what saved us. Our works don’t matter, as it is God’s grace that fuels our actions. No matter how many times you or I mess up, God’s grace has made us His redeemed people, perfect in His eyes.
I ask you now, for those of you who ask, “How am I letting people down today?” to instead ask a different question:
“How will God’s grace through me build people up today?”
May God grant you that peace in life to go into the world without fearing about letting people down. Go knowing with full assurance; God will do great things through you.
Guest Blogger: Philip Anderson is the Communications Coordinator at the Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel & Student Center, having the goal of “Taking Christ’s Light to Campus” to the major universities in Madison, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Madison – Wisconsin with a B.S. in Strategic Communications and Sociology in May 2016. He hopes to one day make a difference in the world at large, where God at least lets him go. In his free time, Phil can be found traveling internationally, speculating on the Green Bay Packers, or playing on his Nintendo Switch. Though he doesn’t post often, you can follow him on Twitter @ppanderson1 or as he experiments with the new social media platform, Vero.