Life has this annoying little habit of throwing circumstances directly in your path that you were 100% not prepared for. So, go figure, it generally gets bungled and the rest of the day is spent with a pessimistic monologue going through your head about how ridiculously it was handled. The past scenario is replayed a thousand times in your mind, and every replay you find a better way of handling the issue is revealed.
I’m talking about making mistakes.
Mistakes are incredibly powerful – both negatively and positively – depending on who we listen to. OK, so maybe you didn’t catch my meaning there.
When you make a mistake, there will be two voices inside your head.
Voice 1: “I can’t believe I did that! What was I thinking? I’m such a failure now, and I’ll never get it right.”
Voice 2: “I can’t believe I did that! I should have done (fill in the blank) instead. I need to remember next time.”
Voice 1 is completely shutting off all chances for improvement, while Voice 2 is giving you a chance to do it over again. One is the Devil trying to make you feel the worst you can feel, while the second is God saying, “Hey, you messed up – I understand – but I can help you. And I still love you.”
Here are 5 tips to help you overcome what the Devil is telling you.
#1: Learn from your mistakes
The only person who never makes a mistake is the one locked inside a turtle shell. Actually, scratch that, that person is making a mistake because they are wasting the beautiful life God has given them. Mistakes are just a part of living. The first few batches of biscuits I made, I accidentally used Baking Soda instead of Baking powder. No amount of butter and honey could cover up that taste! It was awful and dinner was a disaster. But I learned something valuable. When I accidentally hit the wrong chord during my band practice, I make a note to learn from that mistake so I won’t do it again.
Foolishness brings joy to one without sense, but a man with understanding walks a straight path. Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. A man takes joy in giving an answer; and a timely word—how good that is!
#2: Know you aren’t perfect
Sometimes pride can be the hardest hammer – When that balloon gets popped all the air goes out and there’s nothing left.
1 John 1:8 If we say that we do not have any sin, we are deceiving ourselves and we’re not being truthful to ourselves.
To a certain extent, you just need to get over it. We are human and are not perfect, which is why we need God so desperately! No matter how much we fail on this earth, God still loves us unconditionally!
“But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
#3: Ask for Help
There’s nothing wrong with admitting you have a problem! God has put wise people in your life to help you – people who have gone through the mistake and are willing to share what they learned with you. God is there as well. When a new circumstance leaps into your path, start praying for God to guide you through it. He will help you because He said He would.
But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.
#4: It’s not the end of the world
The Devil wants to drag you down into a miserable mud pit so that you feel so ashamed for what you’ve done that you never want to crawl out. But don’t give up! Don’t be dragged down! If you give up now you will never know the feeling of victory when God helps you overcome it!
For the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
#5: Pray and don’t dwell on the past
(OK, two in one. Just roll with it) Prayer is not a cliche saying! God really can and does help! But you have to call out to him! We are His children. And like children, we fall down. But God is our Father and willing to take our hand and lead us along the bumpy parts of life.
Psalm 54:4 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
And once God has helped you move on, don’t go back. Don’t get caught in the vicious cycle of kicking yourself for past mistakes that have already been overcome.
Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me.
Don’t let your mistakes define who you are!
E. J. W.
Hello! I’m a Homeschool graduate and busy Jack-of-all-trades with a tomboy streak. I love writing and have been doing so ever since I could spell, but was creating stories long before that! I’m the oldest of a big family and thank God for each and every one of my amazing, and very noisy, siblings. I love riding horses, hunting with my bow, and playing guitar with my church as well as taking up any little craft that catches my fancy. If anybody is ever looking for me in the evening though, I’m probably curled up on “my couch” in the corner with a book (hopefully a thick one) and a big cup of tea that always seems to disappear far too soon. (I’ll find the culprit one of these days)
I try to blog regularly about my journey as a Christian Author and all the adventures that come along the way! Feel free to check me out at: http://homeschoolauthor.blogspot.com