When I mess up, I tend to be pretty hard on myself. Sometimes I fear that I’ve ruined my chances at being used by God and that surely there’s nothing that can undo my error. Will he get frustrated with me, the way I get with myself, and then decide He’s finished with me?

The truth is, in those moments, I’m projecting fear of rejection onto a God who is far more compassionate than I’ll ever understand. He’s a redeemer of stories, and everyone has a story. No one gets through this life without one.

No, He’s not finished with me. And He’s not finished with you. The only finished thing in this place is the work He did on the cross, and our every error is undone under the cover of the blood of Jesus. Jesus came to remove condemnation, not to deliver it (John 3:16-17, Romans 8:1).

A man named Jeconiah (also called Jehoiachin and Coniah) messed up big time when he followed the ungodly ways of the kings before him. He lost his throne, ended up in captivity, and received God’s declaration that he was like a broken and unwanted piece of pottery and would be childless, with none of his offspring getting to sit on the throne of David again (Jeremiah 22:24-20).

But the story doesn’t end in Jeconiah’s desolation. God, in His great mercy, steps in. He promises hope and a future to those who will turn from their own ways and follow Him. He promises a Savior who will stand in their place and be God’s righteousness for them, since they’ll never be able to get there on their own. He promises to make them fruitful and multiply them (Jeremiah 23:3-6, 29:10-14, 30:12-17).

And the most beautiful thing happens. God undoes the curse that Jeconiah brought onto himself. God does, in fact, give him children. From the lineage of this formerly-broken, formerly-cast-out, former-king comes the greatest King ever to live (Matthew 1:12).

God delights in mending broken vessels and using them for His glory (Jeremiah 22:28, Psalm 31, Isaiah 61).

Maybe it’s something you did, or something you didn’t do. Maybe it’s what someone else did to you. But you, my friend, are not disqualified. Neither am I. Let’s preach the truth to ourselves over and over--that Jesus didn’t come for perfect people; He came for sinners. When we feel like we’ve missed our chance, all we need to do is look at the cross and remember God’s great compassion and His everlasting kindness. His mercy doesn’t run out; it’s new every morning.

Further Reading:

  • 2 Kings 24

  • 2 Chronicles 36:9-10

  • Jeremiah 22-31

  • Isaiah 61

  • Lamentations 3:19-24

  • Mark 2:17

  • Romans 5:8-9, 8

  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10