“I cannot defend the mistakes I have made, but I choose not to be defined by them.”  That is a message the LORD has been sowing deep in my heart of late, and it’s probably one you also need to hear.  It is too easy to be weighed down by guilt at the many ways in which we fail God each day.  However, the devil sometimes uses this approach to paralyse our Christian lives, rendering us all but worthless to God.  A phrase I read recently on Facebook suggested an alternative train of thought, which I found helpful – “Brokenness is not a sign that you are useless, just in need of repair.”  If, like me, you are re-reading some of the great stories in the Book of Genesis via the E100 notes, you will have noticed that this is a recurring theme.  The LORD calls and uses such flawed human beings as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to further His purposes.  Abraham was a liar.  Isaac was weak.  Jacob was a schemer.  Yet, each one of these was not regarded as useless and discarded by God in favour of a more righteous candidate.  No, the LORD chose to use the materials at His disposal to share His message and extend His Kingdom.  The same is true through New Testament days in the lives of Saul (persecutor of the church), Zachaeus (a cheating tax collector), and Simon Peter (an unschooled fisherman who had a tendency to be bullish).  In a book of less worth than the Bible, such characters and stories may well have been airbrushed out or, at the very least, considered to be errata – mistakes that ought to have separate notes against them offering a more correct alternative.  But, that is the beauty of Holy Writ; God sanctions no such sanitisation.  Instead, we have before us honest and straightforward narratives that paint a picture of God’s people, warts and all.  And, oh how very reassuring that is, for, all things considered, my life is such that, even at my best, I might be regarded by some folk as one of those errata.  Yet, like clay in the hands of a skilled potter, when I (and you) submit to the workings of God, my feeble efforts (and yours too) can be totally transformed into something beautiful and practical; a life that truly honours the LORD.  And so, I say with my whole heart, long live the lessons we can learn from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (et al), the errata of this world.  These are those whom God does not erase, but, through repentance and faith, He raises up for His glory and the good of His Kingdom!