Mistakes

Others Aren’t As Surprised At Your Mistakes, As You Are.

Ed, my neighbor next door, told me yesterday that if I’m frustrated by making mistakes I may as well double my depression medicine right away. I told my neighbor that I had made more than my share of mistakes last week. Telling myself to smarten up hadn’t helped me make fewer mistakes either. It is hard to face the truth some days our mistakes keep showing up like bills we don’t want to see.

My neighbor said, “The reason many people make mistakes is because they do something stupid now and then.” He also explained that smartest folks never keep track of their mistakes or talk about them. Admitting to making mistakes is like having a sign around your neck that reads, “I cannot walk and hum a tune at the same time!” Ed cautioned that life is too short to focus on your mistakes. He added that there is something wrong with folks that talk about their mistakes. Everyone has already heard about them, so it is old news, or they’re under the delusion they don’t make mistakes very often. Our mistakes may surprise us, but others seldom are surprised at our mistakes, in fact, they, may be used to them.

I agree with Ed that everyone makes mistakes, sometimes lots of them and sometimes few of them. Some mistakes are more costly than others. A number of years ago, I turned out on a highway from a stop sign, and was in the path of a gas tanker truck that came over a small hill on the highway. I thought no traffic was coming, but it was a costly mistake. I caused an accident and destroyed my car. My mistake cost me a new car but thankfully it didn’t cost my life or any serious injuries to me or the truck driver. You can replace a car but not a life.

Sins are like mistakes, in that it seems that they only matter if they are costly mistakes. Often our sins and mistakes are not intentional. Sometimes they are because we don’t know any better. Sadly, sometimes we keep making the same mistakes and committing the same sins. We are trying to get away with what is wrong. Often when mistakes and sins blow up in our faces, it is because we have been guilty of doing them over and over. If we get away with a mistake or sin once, without any ill effects, we may do them until they backfire on us.

National statistics in the U.S.A. on fatal traffic accidents found that 49% of them occurred at night. Driving without wearing a seatbelt, going over the speed limit, and driving under the influence of alcohol were the factors in the high rate of traffic fatalities at night. Drivers at night felt that their mistakes in the use of seatbelts, speed and alcohol would be less likely to get caught at night.

Sins and mistakes can teach us what we should avoid doing. They can also keep us pushing the limits of continuing some mistakes and sins. When our sins or mistakes are so costly we are powerless, God is ready and willing to clear them away and give us a fresh start.

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Raymond Maher
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