Face it. We all make mistakes. Of course, some of them are larger than others or, more specifically, the impact of some mistakes is much greater.
Some mistakes we make in life are relatively small. You know the ones like choosing chocolate cake instead of strawberry pie. Or grabbing a slot-head screwdriver instead of a Phillips-head. These are the myriad mistakes made almost daily to which we probably never give a second thought.
Nothing big, right?
In fact, the effect of these kinds of mistakes are those we wish we had when we make the really big mistakes in life.
The truth is that just about every human being makes a big mistake or more some time in their life. Mistakes in this category may include taking something that does not belong to you, cheating on a test, or lying. These kinds of mistakes can result in lifelong consequences or at least for a very long time.
But thank God for forgiveness and also thank Him that He will never define you by your greatest failure. That is among the beauties of both His holiness and grace. By the way, since God will never define you by your greatest failure, don't believe what others may attempt to label you with. That is a burden you were never created to carry. Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren wrote, “We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it.”
While we can ask for and receive forgiveness, it does not, however, necessarily mean all past events are forgotten. As I wrote above, consequences can linger long after you have made the mistake. This is why it is best to learn some lessons early on in life so as to prevent you from walking in the footsteps of those who have made those big mistakes.
I have spent some time ministering to folks incarcerated in both state and federal prisons. After having met with and heard the stories of some of these prisoners, I can say, without exception, every single one of these folks wishes they had learn the lessons below much earlier than the present. These lessons may have prevented them from losing their freedoms.
So here are a few things to remember and learn going forward in your life.
Making wise life choices cannot be overstated. The choices we make in life will produce amazing blessings or sometimes devastating consequences.
When confronted with your mistake, be quick to embrace the truth. Avoiding truth when it is staring you in the face only exacerbates situations and demonstrates immaturity. Also, many times if you quickly embrace truth and demonstrate remorse, it may very well lessen the consequences.
Forgive and extend grace
Jesus taught us that if we forgive others, God the Father will also forgive us. Likewise, if we do not, He will not! Forgive when someone asks for it. Grace is pretty simple to give when we remember the mistakes we've made and the grace others have given us in the past.
Learn from your mistakes
Ask old adage teaches us to learn from mistakes, especially those made by others. I'm convinced the best mistakes are those in our past. We made them and hopefully have learned the lesson not to repeat them.
Remember all of us make mistakes and will probably make many more in the future. However, let's keep them in the lessor category of wearing different colored socks!