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Our Merciful General

Psalm 51:12 states, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.”

oldiers have various training manuals and regulations they must follow. These documents teach them the military’s rules and prepare them for a successful military career. Unfortunately, many Soldiers do not know some of the most basic rules.

For military units to be successful, leaders must train their soldiers to be independent and able to make decisions on their own. In other words, they must enable their soldiers to have free will in their missions and operations. This allows the Soldiers to make mistakes and fail, but it also allows them to achieve greater accomplishments, think outside the box, and innovate new techniques.

Unfortunately, soldiers fail big sometimes and need help. It is up to military leaders to retrain, counsel, and assist these soldiers in getting back on track. While strict discipline is sometimes essential to create good soldiers, some leaders exhibit overly harsh demeanors and deal out punishments that drive soldiers further in the wrong direction. The leaders who are more careful in how they weigh and balance gentle restoration versus strict discipline usually achieve the greatest results. Their soldiers are motivated and encouraged to try again.

The Lord does that for us. No matter how hard we try, we are going to fail. It is impossible to live a sinless life, which is why Jesus Christ died for us. When we sin and mess up, we need to admit our failures to God and try again. God is not waiting to bludgeon us over the head for our sins; He is waiting for us to come to Him so we can experience forgiveness. God knows our imperfections. He created us. When we repent, He restores us so we are motivated and encouraged to try again.

It says in Psalm 23:3, “He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name.”

We need to stop viewing God as a harsh drill sergeant who can never be pleased. God is not happy with our sin, but He gently restores us with His grace and mercy. As you go about your business today, repent to God seeking His grace and forgiveness. Let Him restore you so you can get back up and try again.

Joshua Bixler is a Christian, husband, father, and a Sunday School teacher for 5th grade boys. He is a veteran of two combat deployments to Afghanistan, and loves military history. He and his wife create tabletop RPG gaming products for their publishing label Bix Six Adventures on the DriveThruRPG website.