It's a blogger's worst nightmare! It is the thought that torments me. It is the scarecrow in my field, the bogeyman under my bed, the ghoul creeping in the shadows, the Frankenstein let loose.

What is this bugaboo of blogging? I call it postescapaphobia. No, you won't find it in the dictionary, and Yes, it is real. It is the fear of a post "not quite ready for prime time" escaping out the back door of WordPress and running loose on the streets of the Internet. On Saturday the post escaped.

I will spare you the details. Suffice it to say I was not watching the gate very closely. Inadvertently, I clicked "PUBLISH" instead of "PREVIEW." That was all it took to send a mob of thoughts running to inboxes everywhere under the banner of "What Fills Your Tank?"

How does one personify YUCKY FEELING? I was embarrassed to say the least. However, when I realized that the world had not come to an end and that most people would forgive me for dumping a boatload of discombobulated words into their e-mail programs, I stopped to ponder: How should the gospel influence my thinking about times when I make a mistake? Here are few thoughts from Colossians 3.

  1. My Oops does not define me. Jesus does. Writing to the Colossians, Paul said, "For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."(Colossians 3:3-4 ESV). My name is Tommy, but my identity is Jesus. He loves me. He died and rose again for me. He empowers me. One day he will come for me. I write, I preach, I teach, and I lead. These are roles. I want to perform them well, but at the end of the day and the end of my life I am defined by Jesus.
  2. I am responsible for my Oops. I must own it. I must correct it. Paul writes,"Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator."(Colossians 3:9-10 ESV). When I come to Jesus, he begins an extreme makeover on my character. Part of this is a wardrobe change. He tells me to peel off my old duds, the ones lined with lies and excuses and to replace them with the fashionable threads of truth. The gospel frees me -- even requires me -- to admit my mistake and own up to it.
  3. Since God forgives me for my Oops. I need to forgive others for theirs."Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmonybearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." (Colossians 3:12-14 ESV). When I dwell on God's compassion toward me, how can I fail to be compassionate toward others? Who should forgive but those who have been forgiven?

A word to the wise: Unlike a lost puppy, wayward posts don't return to their master. In this electronic age once you click, "Send," "Share," or "Publish" be prepared to live with the consequences. Oops will happen. But the great news of the gospel is that Jesus overcomes any and all Oops.

MY PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for covering my mistakes.

LET'S START A CONVERSATION: What have you learned about God's goodness in the midst of your mistakes? You can speak your mind below.