Everybody makes mistakes. How we react to our mistakes makes a big impact upon our lives and how we grow. Failure can be the source of deep anxiety or despair. But failure also contains a chance for great hope. There are at least three different ways for dealing with our mistakes, and each one provides us with valuable lessons.
One of the most common reactions to failure is denial. When we fall into this trap we’re just sticking our heads in the sand. This type of behavior limits our growth and understanding because it leads us to believe in a lie. What’s the lie? That we don’t make mistakes. The deeper problem might be that we think we aren’t allowed to be wrong.
So we shield ourselves in a thick layer of pride, but deep inside we are hurt and afraid. In some cases this denial leads us to attempt to hide our pain with drugs, alcohol, aggression, or withdrawal.
How Could I Have?
In most cases, we do recognize our faults. Not only do we recognize them, but we beat ourselves up over them. We get sad, anxious or even depressed when we make a mistake. Sometimes this negative emotion becomes overwhelming. One of the reasons you might feel this way depends on trust.
When you trust too much in yourself, then your failure seems like the end of the world. This often reveals a lack of trust in God. Why? Because we believe we are in complete control of our lives, and we invest little time and effort in building our trust in God.
When you make a mistake, don’t be surprised and don’t be sad. Instead embrace your failure. The fruit of this process contains incredible value. It builds understanding and humility. It allows you to be merciful. These lessons are nearly impossible to learn with your intellect alone. Only those who have fallen can understand others who fail.
It’s not fashionable to talk about sin these days. But denial of sin only leads to a state where we are powerless victims of circumstance. Sin means that you have made a mistake. If we deny our wrongdoing and responsibility, then we deny our humanity. God allows us to make mistakes.
Yes, you can feel great pain from having offended someone, yourself, or God. You can feel down for a while. But let this process eventually show you how much more you can trust God. Let this reveal to you God’s great love. This brings you peace.
Remember, the way and the reason for which Jesus came into the world was for the forgiveness of our sins. When we fail, forgiveness and grace are fully abundant. Here the love of God rushes in to restore us and set us free from the lie that we must be perfect.
To help you in this process pray for these things:
- Forgiveness and mercy
- Less reliance on yourself
- More trust in God
Let God’s word guide you as well…
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” (Hebrews 12:11-13)
Image source (modified).