Mistakes can be valuable and are forgivable

.

Faith & Reflection

I had the opportunity to share coffee and cupcakes with a seniors group recently. When someone asked the time, I said it was 2:30 and another immediately corrected me telling me I was an hour off. It was indeed 3:30. I admitted that I had made a mistake and quipped, “I made one last week, too.” We all had a bit of a chuckle, but the episode left me pondering the matter of mistakes.

Mistakes can range from comical to catastrophic and innocuous to fatal. For illustrative purposes, there is a humorous account of a drummer in a parade in Ventura, Calif. He repeatedly tossed his drumstick high in the air and then deftly caught it — until it hit two 4,000-volt power lines. Power was knocked out over a 10-block area and put the radio station that was covering the parade off the air.

An example of a catastrophic mistake is when a father tried to race a train at a railway crossing, but he misjudged the speed of the train. He survived the ensuing crash, but his wife and two young daughters were killed instantly.

Mistakes aren’t usually planned — that’s why we call them mistakes. And mistakes are universal; admit it or not, we’ve all made them and we’ll make some more! Moreover, the unintentional nature of mistakes does not alter the fact that they typically hurt either yourself and/or others.

In analyzing some of my own mistakes, I’ve identified three primary causes. My three biggies are speaking without thinking things through carefully enough, responding or reacting with only partial information and making decisions when I am overwhelmed, fatigued or during periods of emotional stress.

Mistakes can be valuable, however. Someone said that there is no point in making a mistake if we cannot learn from it. The test for whether we have actually learned from a mistake or not is indicated by whether we repeat it. In fact, a repetitive mistake is no longer a mistake, but an unwise and deliberate pattern.

But there is good news … (especially for those who have trouble forgiving/forgetting their own mistakes). Mistakes, while not always synonymous with sin, sometimes do meet the biblical definition for sin. But there’s not one of them that cannot be forgiven. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us settle the matter, says the LORD. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

“Since nothing we intend is ever faultless, and nothing we attempt ever without error, and nothing we achieve without some measure of finitude and fallibility we call humanness, we are saved  by forgiveness.” – David Augsburger

Pastor Ross Helgeton is Senior Pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.

Just Posted

Settler has fun-filled day planned for Canada Day

Fireworks, entertainment at West Settler Park

Changes coming to this year’s Big Valley Jamboree

Camrose’s popular country music festival ‘enhances guest experience’

Scenic trail ride raises funds for STARS air ambulance

Battle River Ride for STARS hopes to reach this year’s goal

Stettler gears up for annual Communities in Bloom challenge

As the 2011 National Champs, the Town now competes in the international category

Officials declare July 12th as ‘Collector Car Appreciation Day’

Collector Car Appreciation Day was launched back in 2010

VIDEO: Top NHL draft prospects Hughes and Kakko know they’ll always be linked

The two are on course to be selected No. 1 and No. 2 at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on Friday

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Fighter Jets light up Bucs’ to take AFL first place

38-3 loss puts Central Alberta into second place in the AFL

PHOTOS: Scamp the Tramp wins World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

‘He’s Scamp the Champ, no longer Scamp the Tramp,’ his Californian owner said.

Deals on paid time off for domestic violence ‘beginning of a wave,’ says expert

Philippines was the first country to pay for domestic-violence leave, starting in 2004

Calgary Flames select forward Jakob Pelletier with the No. 26 pick

The 18-year-old winger from Quebec City had spoken with the club earlier in the day and knew they were interested

Central Alberta RCMP constable found not guilty of sexual assault

Justice Grant Dunlop acquitted Const. Jason Tress following a week-long trial in Red Deer Court

Inuit sue feds over experiments that included skin grafts

Plaintiffs allege they were also prodded with sharp instruments to assess their reaction to pain

Most Read