Christians Mess Up Too: Four Ways to Walk in Grace

I’m pretty good at sports. And I think I’m a decent mother, sister, aunt and friend. I’m also quite proficient at writing and editing.

But there’s one thing I’m good at that I’m not proud of: falling down. And I don’t mean in the purely physical sense (although I’ve been known to do that too). 

No, rather it’s that I tend too easily to mess up in the behavior and attitude arenas.

I speak harshly when it’s unwarranted,

make a big deal out of relatively minor situations,

react in anger when kindness should be my default,

fail to extend grace to those closest to me,

insist on having the last word in a discussion;

let down loved ones,

forget my youngest at church … two Sundays in a row (yes, I really did that),

and so many more things.

Some days it’s little slip-ups, like an errant thought or unintentional snub. Other days I blow it big, like disrespecting my man or releasing a wound-inflicting tongue on my children.

Christians Fall Down Too

I’m a Christian — a grace-walking, forgiveness-seeking, truth-loving Jesus follower — yet I mess up. And I’m not the only Christian who does so.

Where did we ever get this idea that Christians never mess up? Certainly, if we love Jesus, we are to reflect Him in our lives.

And by God’s grace, I’m getting better. 

But we are becoming more Christlike. We will not be fully Christlike until we receive our heavenly inheritance when sin and evil will be no more.

We will continue to walk this tension between the temptation of the flesh and living in the Spirit for as long as we find ourselves on earth. 

Although by God’s grace, we can move ever closer to holiness and righteousness.

Christians walk the tension between temptation&right living, but by God's grace, we move ever closer to holiness Click To Tweet

So how do we reconcile being a Christian when we fail in an area? When we do what we know we shouldn’t? When our Christlike reflection becomes blurry?

grace in the mess up

When You Mess Up

First, be reassured, you aren’t alone in falling short of righteous living.

“There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3:10

Each one of us does.

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8

But now … 

Don’t you love it when you find these little phrases — “but” and “but now” — in Scripture! It means pay attention! It means God to the rescue. It means Grace reigns. 

“But now … righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 3:21, 22

But now — thanks to Jesus — God covers us in His righteousness. Sin no longer has a death-hold on us. 

We embrace the fact that Jesus’ blood covers this too (whatever this is). For all sin is defeated under the power of Grace.

Jesus' blood covers 'this' too. For all sin is defeated under the power of Grace. Click To Tweet

Freedom on Earth

So whenever you find yourself messing up … 

1. Walk in joy of the Lord. Rejoice that the Jesus Christ has set you free from the power of sin. 

“So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11

2. Walk humbly in the truth. Don’t mask who you are. Acknowledge it when you fail.

Don’t create excuses and justify your behaviors and thoughts. Ask for forgiveness. Seek to make it right with whoever you let down.

3. Walk in freedom. Seek God’s strength to walk in that freedom, avoiding the traps of the enemy. Seek Him often. 

No head down. No condemnation. Just blessed relief and joy in the amazing gifts of justification, redemption and sanctification we’ve received.

These gifts are not for someone else.If you accepted Jesus Christ’s free gift of salvation, you are cleansed, your sins are paid for.

Own it for yourself.

4. Walk surrendered.

Surrender your life to the Lord. Commit to live for Christ.

“Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1

As Christians, it’s our grace to do so.

The pull of the flesh is too strong to think we can resist the devil’s arrows without wearing God’s armor. That’s foolish and dangerous thinking!

So to walk as children of the Lord, we must walk in the strength and grace of the Lord … each and every day. 

To walk as children of the Lord, we must walk in the strength & grace of the Lord...each & every day. Click To Tweet

Surrendering our weaknesses and letting the Spirit carry us to victory, time and time again. 


“… it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

In Christ we are washed clean and are ushered into the presence of the one Holy God. This truth makes us grateful children of the Father … even when we mess up.

Reflections: Christians mess up too. But have you owned your weaknesses and embraced God’s grace, committing to live for Christ in your walk of faith? 

I am always thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “when I fall down, I …” Click on the image to check out the wonderful encouragement.

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By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

4 comments on “Christians Mess Up Too: Four Ways to Walk in Grace
  1. Carly says:

    Good tips here. I think we can put ourselves under pressure to be perfect as Christians and feel we have to hide it when we fall short, rather than accepting that we are works in progress and we need God’s grace.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      I agree, Carly. And then we misrepresent Christ by pretending we truly are representative of Him. He lives in us and we should desire to reflect Him, but it will be imperfectly. The world needs to know He is perfect, we are not. Pretending does no one any good.

  2. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    I fall down when I get upset and say things I shouldn’t. Sometimes, it is my tone of voice or my attitude that gets me into trouble.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      Oh, me do, Cecelia! Too often. Lord, I repent and ask for your holy conscience to alert me when I do this and to help me, in your strength, walk with a kinder attitude and gentler tongue.

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