Responding to Mistakes

[vimeo id="119271998"] Making mistakes can be pretty discouraging at times. Even when we are having a great day, one mistake, even a little one, can take the wind right out of our sails. The thing to remember is that it’s not the mistake that derailed our day, but rather it’s our reaction and the way we deal with that mistake that affects us.

Relevant Magazine published an article recently about this issue. The article compares mistakes to being caught in quicksand. You can either struggle to get out and sink deeper, or you can grab hold of a rope and pull yourself out. In other words, moving on from mistakes doesn’t have to be so hard. I’ll share some of the ideas from the article along with my own thoughts.

First, Embrace your humanness. Romans 3:23, a well-known passage, says that we have all have sinned (made mistakes) and have fallen short of God’s glory. Being a Christian does not give us a super-human ability to never mess up. The Scriptures give us numerous examples of both normal people and powerful Christians. But you know what? They all made mistakes. From Noah to David, Peter to Paul, no one was perfect except the Son of God.

Second, Keep the lesson. Lose the baggage. So often we view mistakes as things that stick to us forever. We feel like we’ve made a miss-step, and now the evidence is clinging to us wherever we go. There is something we can learn from our faults, but that lesson is not a gem stuck in the tar of shame that will always stick to our hands. We have a choice about what we bring with us from our past, and we can always take the lesson and leave the baggage. We don’t have to carry around our mistakes. Instead, we can turn mistakes into stepping-stones that lead us into a greater and brighter future.

Third, focus on moving forward. No matter how much we think about our mistakes, we can’t change them. At some point we have to acknowledge they happened and turn around and continue moving forward. This day, this hour, this moment, we have a choice whether to look back in despair or look forward in hope. Dwelling on our past is like running a race backward: it’s harder and we are likely to fall into more of the potholes of life than if we looked straight ahead. As Paul writes in Hebrews 12, “Let us run with endurance the race set before us.”

Thanks for taking time to check out my blog today. I hope this has encouraged you and that you will find it easier to let go of your past and discover the design God has for your life in the future. Thanks again and have a great day!