I remember the days when I would beat myself up over mistakes saying things such as; “you did it again! You will never get anything right! Here we go again you looser!”. Oh how cruel I was to myself, yet how graceful I was when someone else made a mistake saying something like: “it’s okay, just try again. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t let that mistake make you think you are a failure”. Oh, how hypercritical was I!
Why do people have the tendancy to be so harsh on themselves? What are we expecting from our own performance, perfection? We need to learn to love our whole selves, not just the parts that we feel good about. This is not easy, it almost seems natural for us to point out our flaws, but when it comes to speaking about our strengths we shy away, sometimes in the name of humility.
What kind of mistakes are common for people? And how do we deal with these moments in a constructive way?
1) saying the wrong thing (unintentionally)
Many words are spoken everyday, according to research they estimate the average is about 7000 words every day. This gives a lot of opportunity to say the wrong thing.
The wrong thing could be anything from an insensitive response when someone is sharing an emotional experience to a response in anger because you have had a bad day or something.
How do we fix this kind of mistake? Simple … We say sorry sincerely. If they don’t forgive, then that’s up to them, but as for you, you have done your part.
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
2) wrong actions (unintentionally)
Let’s remember, we are talking about mistakes, not pre-meditated sinful appetites or plots for revenge. No human is perfect, we will make a mistake with our actions and someone may get hurt in the process.
Imagine, you knock someone’s drink on them; you bump into someone on your travels, you let your friend down when you should have met them – not your fault but you didn’t say anything. The list could go on, this is just a taste of daily life.
How do we fix this kind of mistake? You say sorry again, yes that’s right… So simple right? Yet often people are reluctant to say this simple word. You can make it up with your friend next time; you can help a random stranger next time instead of bumping into them, buy the person another drink!
We complicate life because we dwell on mistakes instead of seeking solutions.
What a difference would be made in this world if we just made a few simple adjustments.
Our biggest mistake that we make is being so hard on our self, and I’m guilty as charged with this one especially! Why do people find it so hard to forgive themselves for a mistake? True champions in life; those who have been through the fire yet didn’t get burned… Well they learned the power of forgiveness and how to be a problem solver instead of a problem maker.
We discover that when we cannot forgive ourselves, we begin to believe that others would not forgive us either, and worse than this, we doubt if God can forgive us, even though we know he is faithful and just to forgive us when we ask.
Do you see a common pattern in failure and how to solve it? It’s simple… It is about forgiveness. Forgiving ourselves and forgiving others, and allowing God to forgive us. Forgiveness breaks the power of failure and gives the strength we need to not give up. Yes there may be other aspects to consider, but for this message it is forgiveness that we need to take hold of.
Ephesians 4:33 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Image: Google images (humming harry- beating yourself up)
Love and God bless