Saw an article in the paper the other day titled, “6 great things about making a mistake” by Susie Moore*. While I am not so sure that I would refer to the outcomes of mistakes as “great,” I do see that there are benefits if we take the time to learn from them. Here they are:
1 – They are out best teachers. Success may produce confidence, but a mistake produces understanding. Why did I do that? What could I have been thinking? Chances are “thinking” was the last thing we thought we needed to do.
2 – They mean action. This is the “forehead-slapper” of the group. If you never do anything, you will never make a mistake. No kidding!
3 – They make you smarter. This is the conclusion of an article published in the journal of the Association of Psychological Science. If you “believe intelligence develops through effort,” you will see mistakes as your “best chance at getting better and smarter.”
4 – They are (largely) reversible. “When you think about the worst that can happen, it’s often much less daunting than you imagine.” Few of us are in a position where our mistakes might have permanent consequences. There is much grace and forgiveness if we will ask.
5 – They make you interesting. Tell the truth, who would you rather listen to, someone who has always done everything perfectly or someone who has made a mistake or two along the way? The best part is you get to tell them on yourself! And, you get to hear stories from others. Do not take notes!
6 – They create compassion. Where would we be if no one ever gave us a break? No one expects us to be perfect or to do everything perfectly. The fact that we have made mistakes enables us to look on the mistakes of others with mercy. Would we really want to live in a society where every mistake was noted and whether we had atoned for then?
Jesus came that we might see how we had taken a “wrong turn” or two along the way and to set us back on the path to living. He helped us to look at God’s intention for the way we should live, how we needed to adjust our lives, and then gave us the freedom to start over. His life modeled mercy, compassion, and forgiveness for he knew us as we were.
As I read the article, I thought about some of the mistakes that have helped to shape my life. Who would I be today without those moments of “messing up” that taught me so much? Thank the Lord that I do not have to be afraid for the future!
How about you? Have you thought to give thanks for the lessons imparted by mistakes in your life and for God’s grace that has covered them all? Maybe you can think of someone who needs to know this, too. Please, do not make the mistake of not telling them.
Grace and peace,
*Found this in the Chattanooga Times Free Press of May 29, 2017. The author is a life coach columnist for Greatest (greatest.com).