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A Mistake or Not?

If it was an error, its causes were honorable.

Those who commit first-class blunders and blatant sins usually know it, and can begin to work on them. But sometimes the categories blur and the markings of a genuine mistake become indistinct. Is everything that appears to be a mistake a mistake?

Alan Taylor felt he was growing fat at First Presbyterian Church in Auburn, California. Not that he was putting on weight; Alan's trim, well-groomed appearance spoke quietly of accomplishment. He suspected his ministry was assuming the indolent ease.

His nine years in Auburn, a burgeoning Sierra foothill community where forty-niners once panned for gold, had been happy. Maybe too happy. After unbroken success, Alan began to wonder, Am I becoming content to relax and enjoy the journey? His people freely expressed their affection for the Taylors, giving them tickets to the Sacramento Symphony and the use of ski condos at Lake Tahoe. Alan could never be called a freeloader. First Church had grown ...

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