I wrote an article here about recovering from mistakes. In it, I gave 5 ways to recover from your mistakes. In this series, I will look at each one a little deeper.
1. Accept the mistake.
2. Don’t beat yourself up.
3. Find value.
4. Have a main goal to shift back to.
5. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Today we explore #5- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
I’m going to talk about two types of mistakes today. Willful and unintentional.
Willful – The main idea of this is simple. Whatever happened, whatever you did, it may feel like the end of the world. But it’s not. Even if you did great harm and caused pain for someone else, we have a God that forgives us of our sins. In fact The Bible says this;
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NIV
That gives everyone the freedom to move on without guilt and shame. We are people and we make mistakes. Even living as a Christian, people slip up. Now this verse doesn’t give us the right to just sin freely, but on the contrary, if you are truly living this life, sin is an abnormality and the Holy Spirit convicts you towards repentance. God and sin cannot occupy the same space. But enough about willful mistakes. What about honest to goodness goof ups?
Unintentional – Our mistake may have been a true mistake. You forgot something, you left something behind, you made the wrong choice, you didn’t think a situation all the way through, etc. The best part about that kind of mistake is that again, it’s not the end of the world. Even in an extreme example of accidentally causing someone to get hurt or worse, you have a God who can help you gain perspective. Understanding that everything happens for a reason and that you are part of a bigger plan may help you through that situation. The Bible states this;
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14 NIV
This basically says that it’s not that deep. Whatever it was. It also says in the grand scheme of things, even though we think we’re very important, we’re not going to rip the fabric of time and space. In God’s eyes, yes he loves us and helps us to maintain the right mindset to fulfill His purpose in this crazy world, but our strengths only allow us to do so much. We are not God. We’re all going to make mistakes. You may think you’ve missed a huge opportunity, but in reality, it’s part of a bigger plan. Flip it around and make the mistake work for you.
I hope this series helps someone. I have to remember these 5 things daily. In simple terms, mistakes are “building blocks of character”.
In summary of this series – The best thing you can do is accept mistakes as a part of life and get back up on your feet. Keep moving forward. Learn from them and don’t let them rule any part of you. Don’t let guilt and shame rob you of a life lesson. Never lose sight of who you are and go out and try again or teach others about what not to do.