We All Make Mistakes.

Let me say that again, everybody makes mistakes. If somebody says they do not make mistakes, their most recent mistake is likely in thinking that they do not make mistakes. Making a mistake does not dimmish our core value as a human. You have the right to make mistakes, to be human – not perfect. It is normal to make mistakes, often it is how we learn new things or make new discoveries. When we choose badly or incorrectly making an error or blunder in action, opinion, or judgment it is a mistake, an error caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, or inadequate knowledge. That is an action or decision that is wrong or produces a result that is not intended.

Sometimes we lose our way. We may do shameful things. We can focus on things that take us away from where we want to go. We can pursue a goal at the cost of relationships, or at the cost of our own integrity. We can deceive others; we can lie to ourselves. We may keep ourselves closed off from friends, we may make choices to be too open with untrustworthy people. We may see wrongs being done in front of us or even to us and we choose not to speak out. We may exercise poor judgment.

There are three different types of common mistakes that we make.

To willfully choose to disobey commands, to willfully break the law.

To know what the good would be, but choose not to do it.

To go astray, to miss the mark. Like an archer when shooting an arrow, but the arrow does not hit the bullseye. Something that just did not go quite right.  

We have the right to make mistakes, but we have the responsibility to handle our mistakes and the after-effects in a healthy way. This is for our own benefit as well as for the benefit of others who may have been hurt because of our mistake. After the mistake, we have the choice of how to handle our mistakes. We can respond in a healthy way or handle our mistakes in an unhealthy way, thereby multiplying our mistakes.  

When you make a mistake, own it, confess to it; do not blame, run, or hide. It is not so much what you did, as it is what you do after what you did, that may decide how bad a mistake will be. Don’t waste your mistakes, learn from them! 

"Been there, done that, Not doing that again!"

You can move forward to repair a mistake. When you admit that you have done something wrong, that confession is the first step toward repairing a relationship. working toward rebuilding, to put into good order something that is injured or damaged.

Just because we make mistakes does not mean we have lost our value as humans. We are not lost forever. It is not our mistakes that define us. What matters are the choices we make after the mistakes. We can choose to accept responsibility for our own actions, agree with God about the wrong we did and choose to turn from that path and change our own behavior.

The key to learning from mistakes is to choose to admit your mistakes and make the changes you need in order to keep moving forward in your life. When you cannot admit your own mistakes, you stay stuck in them. God makes a way for us to repair mistakes, sins, with him. We can repent and turn from that way of life.

1 John 1:19

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

He offers us forgiveness and directs us to forgive others. Forgiveness is about goodness. It is about extending mercy to those who have harmed you, even if they do not deserve to be forgiven. 

We all make mistakes, but our mistakes do not have to define us. What matters are the choices we make after the mistakes. We also have the responsibility to handle what happens after our mistakes in a healthy way; for our own benefit as well as for the benefit of others.

This is an excerpt from the book Fundamentals: Escape the Lingering Effects of Bullying, Abuse or Trauma

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I am an experienced therapist (LPC), life coach, and consultant. I want to help you personally and professionally. You can discover more by accessing my free guide to the Helpers Journey and Compassion Fatigue.

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