Trials and error

Romans 4:1-12: For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”…But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.
The book Make It Stick underlines the value of mistakes in effective learning. The author says, “…people who are taught that learning is a struggle that often involves making errors will go on to exhibit a greater propensity to tackle tough challenges and will tend to see mistakes not as failures but as lessons and turning points along the path to mastery.”
Learning to trust God is a struggle for me. I believe God to be good and to will good for me, but I often slip into thinking that my mistakes will weaken my relationship with God.
We know, from reading Abraham’s story in the Old Testament, that he made plenty of human mistakes. But Romans says that Abraham “believed God” and that belief “was reckoned to him as righteousness. . Despite what the New Testament says, he did have occasions when his trust in God wavered. But he found the courage to trust God in the big picture, and so we look to him as a model of faith and a patriarch of our faith tradition.

Abraham made plenty of mistakes. According to Make It Stick, though, his mistakes ultimately taught him to trust more deeply in the grace of God.
If mistakes do teach us, then I must be getting pretty smart by now.
Psalm 80; Jeremiah 7:1-15; John 7:14-36
Copyright 2021 by Carol Mead.  For noncommercial use and sharing only. For more information on this ministry, and on a free subscription to these meditations, please contact the author by email (

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