How do you respond when you make a mistake with grave consequences?

When Mike Foster was younger, he was out with some friends water skiing on the Colorado River when tragedy struck. With the boat he was driving, Mike ran over another water-skier who was sitting in the water.

“There’s no playbook for these things. There isn’t a five-step process on how to deal with grief. I had lots of people telling me, it’s an accident, but I didn’t believe that. I just felt like it was my fault, I did something wrong, I am to blame.”

According to Mike, these kinds of accidents can get twisted up in our minds.

“They can really lead us into some really negative and destructive places, some places that I believe God never intends us to go when we fail and hurt people.”

Mike says that one of the ways he tried to process his grief and shame was by writing new rules for His life. He calls these rules ‘condemnments.’

“I said to myself, because of what I did on the water that day, I would no longer enjoy the water, I would never go on the water. It would be off limits now because I felt like I had my chance and I blew it. I thought in my head that this was the way I could show respect for the man that I injured.”

Mike says that we write these new rules for our lives when we experience pain, but they are rules God never intended for us to have.

“Maybe we’ve been betrayed by somebody, so we write a rule that says I’ll never trust anyone. Maybe you’ve gone through a difficult split in a marriage and now you believe this rule that you’ll never find true love again.”

According to Mike, these covenants we make in our own heart are almost exclusively linked to a lie from Satan.

“To me, those are just lies of the enemy. Lies that destroy the freedom in our life and really undermine the work of God and what He is trying to tell us. We are His beloved, He makes all things new, He has a plan for our lives, and a purpose for our pain, and He uses those valley experiences for His glory.”


Mike Foster is the Founder and Chief Chance Officer at People of the Second Chance, an organization dedicated to helping people relaunch their lives with a sense of hope and purpose. As a spiritual entrepreneur, Foster has created movements, ministries and organizations that has helped millions.

Key Scripture: Revelation 21:5

Featured Songs: Unfinished – Mandisa; Do it Again – Elevation Worship; Glorious – Passion

People of the Second Chance

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