Dealing With Mistakes? Check Your Reactions

Dealing with mistakes

Find freedom from self-defeat.

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.

Who Me?

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.

Embrace Failure

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)

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I worry about my kids too much. What should I do?

I worry about my kids too much

Let love free you from worry.

Germs, accidents, college, drugs, sex… the list of worries for a parent these days seems to never end. It’s normal to want to nurture and protect your child. But if you worry about your kids too much, you could be doing more harm than good.

The Real World

Let’s face it, the world is a dangerous place. Kids get sick and hurt every day. The dangers our children face can sometimes take on life-threatening, or at least life-changing, consequences. But how do you cope with this in a healthy way?

Examine Your Past

If you feel like you worry too much, it’s worth taking a look at your past for an explanation. For example, if your parents were divorced, this could be part of the reason you worry so much today. On the other hand, if your parents were overprotective, you might be imitating their behavior. A toxic family environment may also have programmed worry into your personality.

Any type of trauma, abuse or neglect in your past has a profound impact on how you see the world today. If you felt threatened all the time, then worry is a natural reaction. Identifying the source of your fears helps you manage them in a healthier way.


As a parent, you’re responsible for the safety of your child. But does excessive worry help you? Exaggerated worry may lead your child to be paralyzed with anxiety now or later as an adult.

Whose suffering do you want to prevent?

You don’t want to see them suffer, right? But at what cost? If your kid decided to be an attorney, would you buy a fake diploma to avoid the suffering that comes with law school? Of course not, but life is the same way. In the school of life we grow when we learn how to navigate our trials.

The more challenging question might be: Is my desire to avoid my kid’s suffering actually a desire to avoid my own suffering?

Unnecessary suffering should be avoided, but when we don’t allow our kids to grow up, they end up suffering much more later. This problem can even get handed down to our children’s children.

Money Matters

One common example is to constantly meet the financial needs of your child. You might think, “Well, once they get on their feet, then I won’t have to support them anymore.” We must accompany our kids as they learn to fend for themselves, but sometimes we end up supporting them too much.

A young bird never expected to leave the nest will never appreciate the value – and joy – of flight. If children never learn the value of work and money, they’ll have a distorted view of the world for the rest of their lives.

But what if they get hooked on drugs or get (someone) pregnant?

Again, risk and danger are real. So accept them. No amount of worry will eliminate these possibilities. But dialog with your kids can help reduce them. If you come at them with exaggerated fear, they’ll either copy your worry habits or simply tune you out. But if you attempt to engage with them at their level, as well as with sincerity about yourself, then they just might think twice.

When bad things happen

Sooner or later, your kid will get sick or hurt. That’s the nature of life, and 100% prevention is impossible. Some use this as fuel to increase their worry efforts even more. But maybe it’s better to look at things from the perspective of those who have lost their children to accident or illness.

These parents obviously suffer tremendously. But after going through the process of grief, some eventually come to a stage of acceptance. Those most at peace with their loss understand a profound truth that all parents should know: Your child has belonged to God from the beginning.

How prayer helps

When you pray for your kids, let out all your worries to God without watering it down. Let him know exactly how much you worry. And as you continue in prayer, he’ll help you to cope with your fears in a mature way. He shows you that his plan for their lives is not under your control. You certainly have a role to play, but it’s not the main role.

Also, ask to be healed of your past hurt that might be affecting how you see your child. Let God’s love heal old wounds that interfere with having a healthy relationship with your son or daughter.

The most excellent way

The best way to understand and deal with suffering is through love, not control. This is the lesson Jesus revealed to us on the cross. Worry will never get rid of suffering, but love will conquer fear. Fear makes us think and act irrationally.

Let God cast out your fears. Let him set you free to see clearly. Then you can understand your true role in your child’s life – a protective and guiding servant, privileged to walk with them for part of their beautiful life.

Here’s a prayer for your daughter or your son.

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Everything is going wrong. Now what?

Everything goes wrong

When even small things ruin your day where do you turn?

Have you ever had one of those days when it seems like everything goes wrong? Some people experience weeks, months or even years in this kind of situation. The advice “just think positive” doesn’t always work. So what should you do?

The little things pile up

Many times it’s not one big problem but many little things instead. Or maybe a certain stumbling block just won’t go away. Even minor issues can take up a lot of your time (ever try to change cable service?). In these moments, every new misfortune takes on monstrous proportions. It’s like having a big load in your arms, and someone asks you to carry an egg – so you have to stick it in your mouth.

Some techniques

Being overwhelmed is real – it’s not all in your head. You might experience a string of inconveniences or even outright disasters. However, your reaction to negative events makes a big difference. If you’ve had a breakdown just because someone spilled some milk, then you know how stress can affect everything.

It’s easier to navigate a crisis when you have clarity and peace. Here are some methods you can try to maintain a healthy outlook:

  • Remember that problems usually don’t last forever
  • Try to focus on one problem at a time
  • Resolve the most nagging issues first
  • Recognize what’s going right in your life
  • Visualize a future where the problems are solved
  • Accept the things that you are powerless to change
  • Be aware that trials produce patience and character
  • Go for walks to clear your head
  • Don’t add anything to your schedule (just say “no”)
  • Ask for help

Even though these methods are useful, some of them echo the “just think positive” advice that oftentimes doesn’t work. And what about the problems that do last forever?

The Threat

Many times, faith lives at the limits of psychology. For some Christians when things go wrong, Satan is blamed for these attacks. While this might – or might not – be true, the Devil certainly enjoys seeing us stressed out or paralyzed in despair.

In chapter 20 of Jeremiah, the prophet hears “many whispering ‘Terror on every side!’” And that’s exactly what it is; the enemy trying to convince you that your life is a disaster. Many fall into this temptation, and once they start believing Satan’s lies, things get worse.

Stand up and fight

Jeremiah goes on to say, “the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.” Who are your persecutors? Pessimism and the lack of hope. These are the things that keep you from invoking the “mighty warrior” that is our Living God.

When you feel like everything is going wrong there can be a palpable resistance to prayer. You feel like you have to do something, anything, besides pray. It seems like a waste of time or you’re just too exasperated. But know this: God fights for you fiercely. He’s a mighty warrior that will rise up to cast out evil and doubt. Cry out to him and things will change.

Remove your doubt

You might think that prayer isn’t practical, but have you tried it? Begin by sitting quietly and saying, “God I’m here. Speak to me.” If your mind begins to race, just let it. Let your thoughts unwind naturally, but stay aware that you are in God’s presence. As your mind begins to clear, praise God and ask him for help. You can use simple phrases like:

  • I praise you Lord.
  • Fight for me God, I need you now.
  • Dear Jesus, I trust in you.

These words have a tremendous power to put things in order. Just talk to God as you would a close friend. As your prayer continues you will experience something incredible – you will begin to think clearly and realistically. God won’t always take problems away, but he will give you the right mind to face your challenges. This is the Holy Spirit making a concrete difference in your life. And difficulties will be resolved in ways you never imagined.

Spiritual Combat

One thing is clear, Satan certainly does not want you to seek God’s presence. Evil wants you to remain emotionally isolated and convinced that your life is a series of failures. Sometimes you have to nearly force yourself to pray. And when you do, the truth comes out. What is the truth? The truth is that you are loved by a great God who forgives you and places you upon a throne with his Son. Satan does everything in his power to hide this truth from you. But a simple prayer and a moment of grace can dispel the darkness.

No way out?

Some situations do not end. Illness, death and loss exist, and sometimes no amount of faith can prevent this. God does not always offer solutions that fit our vision of the world. Instead he lets us see things from the perspective of his Kingdom where things like mercy, forgiveness and love rule. In God’s plan, you can overcome even the most difficult situations since the Spirit gives you the strength to stand up and keep going.

We know God hears our suffering and showed it in the most profound way. He sent his Son to suffer with us and for us, even to the point of taking away all the badness that we so easily bring upon ourselves and the world. When Christ’s truth sinks in, a spirit of humility grows in your heart. And perhaps Jesus’ greatest way to deal with adversity was his humility.


For Jesus it seemed like everything was going wrong too. His friend betrayed him and his disciples left him. One of his most loyal apostles denied him. Then Jesus was sentenced to death even though his innocence was unquestionable. But in every moment, Jesus looked to his Father – he gave it all up to God and the end result was glorious.

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Christmas Depression Or Joy?

Christmas depression or joyIt’s well known that during Christmas time there are increased rates of depression, suicide and suicide attempts. If this is to be a season of joy why is there so much bad cheer?

Causes of Christmas Depression

During the holidays is there is simply too much to be done. Shopping, planning for gatherings and preparing for the year’s end all heap hours of extra work onto our already busy lives.

Others see Christmas as a season of loss. For example, you might have lost a loved one in the past during the holidays. Or it could be that you don’t have fond memories because, as a child, Christmas was a time of sadness in your home. Others who are alone feel even lonelier since this is a time to gather with loved ones.

Finally, the year’s end is often a time to reflect on how things are going in our life. And if things aren’t going well, you can fall into depression.

How to cope with Christmas Depression

Later, we will discuss how your faith makes the biggest impact of all. But here are some practical tips that can help:

  • Buy gifts in batches. For example, scented candles are nice gifts you can buy in bulk.
  • Set limits on shopping and spending. Remember, you can’t buy love.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no” to invitations. Or feel free to leave the party early.
  • Write down your reasons for being depressed. Setting it down on paper can be liberating.
  • Drink and eat less. Alcohol is a chemical depressant.
  • Find time for yourself to recover from the chaos.

Prayer Time

Perhaps during this time of year, prayer is more important than ever. The busy pace and frequent parties can all lead to temptations, even the temptation to be sad. Some fall into the trap of getting into family arguments since everyone is so stressed out. Time in prayer will keep you centered in the holiday storm.

Party Clothes

The holidays put tremendous pressure on us to perform. We have to look good and put on a happy face. So how does our faith get us through this? Think about the parable of the wedding banquet. Many were invited to the king’s party, but one entered without the proper dress. When this person was discovered, he was tied up and thrown out into the darkness. Seems kind of harsh for a merciful God, doesn’t it?

The Meaning of the Parable of the Great Banquet

When the world celebrates Christmas, the pressure of society looks to distract us from the essence of the holiday. Why? Because it’s good business. But if we go into the party without the proper dress, then we too risk getting thrown out. So we end up feeling depressed or anxious, because we look for something in a worldly celebration that only God can give us.

The proper attire for God’s banquet is the clothing of repentance and acceptance. Now you might be saying to yourself, “Before I was just a little depressed, now you’ve really made me sad.” The reason for this emphasis isn’t to put you down, but rather to raise up God’s Son in glory.

If we look to the holiday celebration only for a reason to “feel good” we will always be disappointed. When we forget the essence we try to feed on something that can’t give us life.

Don’t deny the Son

You see, if we deny our sin, we deny Christ. He came to forgive us and save us. That was, and is, his main mission. So even though we must strive to do good, the first step is recognizing our sin and the great forgiveness of God. This gives everything, especially Christmas, its meaning.

If you are sad or depressed, remember this. The more you suffer and the more you have sinned – all this gives you even greater access to God’s mercy. In the Book of Matthew, Jesus says, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick… go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

So it’s not a matter of values, conduct or appearances. It’s a matter of the heart. Have you given your heart to Jesus? He certainly gives all his heart to you.

It’s all for you and for His glory

The first Christmas was truly sacred. In humility, a child was born in the stillness of the night. This child was destined to give his life for you. When you feel the holiday pressure, let Jesus put everything in perspective. His truth cleans and heals you of past hurt and loss. Strength and hope are yours as you navigate a world offering peace in all the wrong places.

Remember who Jesus is. Remember what he did for you. Go back to the manger; go back the basics of your faith to pull yourself out of the holiday blues. Christmas is a great celebration for reasons that completely transcend our earthly senses. Rise above it all. Rise up with Christ. He alone clothes you in the right attire.

Then step into the banquet; clean and whole with confidence before God. Jesus himself will acknowledge your name before his Father in heaven.

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How Do I Deal With Toxic People?

Prayer for Anxiety Asks How Do I Deal With Toxic People

Discover how much prayer can help.

We all have these kinds of people in our lives at one time or another. It’s someone that makes life unbearable. Sadly, this person is often a family member or a close friend. Let’s see how to deal with these difficult relationships from psychological and faith based perspectives.

What Defines A Toxic Person Or Relationship?

Maybe the best way to describe a toxic person is someone you don’t want to be around at all, and you hate them (and maybe yourself) for it. This is not a formal psychological diagnosis as different personality disorders can lead to toxic behavior. Here are some signs that a person’s behavior is toxic:

  • Extreme selfishness
  • Always the victim
  • Aggressive or threatening behavior
  • Overreacts easily
  • Suffocating perfectionism
  • Overly dramatic
  • Controlling behavior
  • Jealously or envy
  • Hyper-critical
  • Extreme pessismism
  • Obsession with being sick
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

Your Reaction Helps Identify Problems

How you respond to the person is a key part of identification and healing. Some signs that you are in a toxic relationship are:

  • Dread or fear of the person
  • You feel emotionally drained
  • You feel frustrated by your own reactions as much as the toxic person’s behavior
  • Every time you think things are better, they fall apart again
  • You end up compromising your values trying to cope
  • Endless arguments of repeating the same thing over-and-over
  • You feel that there is a battle for control between the two of you

How To Handle Toxic Relationships: Psychological Perspective

First of all, if you are in any sort of danger, ask for help right away. The National Domestic Violence Hotline website can be found here.

The main reason people act irrationally is usually due to an unhealed emotional wound. Maybe they were abused or neglected or perhaps they were raised by a toxic person. These wounds make us all react in ways we don’t want to.

People who care for parents that have Alzheimer’s disease often get frustrated. But when they understand that it’s a disease process, they can be more objective. This type of objectivity can help you navigate toxic relationships.

Meditate on this thought: His/Her irrational behavior is based on a past wound or weakness.

Try not to argue, and avoid interrupting the other person. Let them talk it out, even if what they are saying makes no sense at all. Remember, silence does not mean that you agree. Toxicity thrives on argument; so don’t feed it.

Stop making things “easy” for the other person or yourself. Compromising your convictions and values only makes things harder down the road. Set healthy boundaries and have the courage to walk away until the smoke clears. In some cases, this might mean walking away from a relationship altogether. It might also be wise to seek professional counselling.

How To Handle Toxic Relationships: Faith Based Perspective

Romans 8:28 says everything that happens to us is for our own good if we love God. This can be a hard pill to swallow when exposed to toxic people. However, think about this — if a person is toxic, it means they are sick. In Mark 2:17, Jesus said he did not come to heal the healthy, but those who are ill with sin.

Toxic behavior is often under some kind of evil influence. It could be the result of past sin, abuse, or even a demonic presence. The best way to combat this is through prayer. Pray incessantly for the other person. Separate in your mind the behavior from the person.  Let God soften your heart while he strengthens your character, even as you are being harmed. This is true Christ-likeness.

It requires a lot of hard praying to deal with these people.  But when they look for conflict, they will encounter God’s love in your heart.

Our trials produce patience. Many times the presence of a toxic person in your life is the best way for you to develop the fruit of the Spirit such as peace, kindness, and self-control. The world will tell you to retain your dignity at all costs; Jesus will tell you to love your enemy. Ask God to mold your heart through your trails.

Project Of A Lifetime

These people are the most needy in our lives. It may take years before they are ready to change. But never give up hope. This doesn’t mean you have to remain physically close to the person, but you can keep knocking on God’s door asking him to change things. Maybe you can’t leave the situation. Here, you become completely dependent on God’s mercy and love. Let his Spirit do the fighting for you.

You might think, “Why do I have to waste my life for this person who doesn’t appreciate what I do or feel for them? It’s so unfair!” Only God’s justice and mercy are perfect. And who are the just? Asking for mercy, he is the tax collector who does not even feel worthy to lift up his eyes up to heaven (Luke 18:9-14); she is the sinful woman washing the feet of Jesus with her tears (Luke 7:36-50).

The answers are never simple. Consider all things in the light of prayer. Talk with your pastor, priest, or spiritual guide. Remember, when we rejoice in our trials and sufferings, God’s grace is certain to shine through.

Let us pray for you.

Image source (modified).
Resources: Article at PsychCentral.