It takes real guts and Christ-like character to admit when we’ve made a mistake. And it takes even more effort to avoid making the same mistake again. But that is exactly what God wants us to do on both counts.
Extracting the learning from the mistake and making sure it doesn’t happen again is not automatic. That’s why I go through the following three steps with God after evaluating what triggered the mistake and counting the consequences.
“As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” Proverbs 26:11
STEP ONE: Taking responsibility
This is where I own my mistakes and failures and missteps–without minimizing them or blaming others—by taking full responsibility (Proverbs 28:13). It also includes asking for forgiveness from anyone that may have been hurt. If others were involved, there may be a need to seek restitution. Most commonly associated with a financial focus, God also sees restitution through an emotional or relational lens.
STEP TWO: Listening to God
This is where I listen to God and take full advantage of his vast vault of truth and flood my mind and heart with his mind and heart (Joshua 1:8). Another key part of this step is building a “wisdom wall” by connecting with Godly advisors who can offer Christ-like perspective on the situation and how to move forward in a stronger position (Proverbs 11:14).
STEP THREE: Re-racking and restarting
Now it’s time to create a plan to get my life car back on God’s purpose-driven highway by focusing on what God would have me do going forward.
I ask God to give me the strength and wisdom and guts to LOOK UP when I mess up.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
How do you clean up when you mess up?