If you refuse to learn from your mistakes, you will be poor, and no one will respect you. If you listen when you are criticized, you will be honored.
(Proverbs 13:18 ERV)
When was the last time you made a mistake? I mean the "very last time" you made one. Likely you haven't make your "last one", nor have you recalled "all" the mistakes you have made in the last week, let alone in your lifetime! Mistakes are a part of life - it is part of being human. Sometimes we call them "errors", but whether we call them mistakes or errors doesn't matter - the fact is we all "make them". A mistake is any "error" in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, or insufficient knowledge. We don't have to work at making mistakes - they happen most of the time because something wasn't "working" in us!
There are two words in the English vocabulary that are kind of awesome: Mistake and Retake. One describes the error, the other the opportunity to "redo" or "re-take" the steps again until we get it right! It is possible a mistake is just us not really understanding how to do something - such as when I put together one of those assemble-it-yourself pieces of furniture only to find I put a part in backward somewhere back around step three when I am now on step twenty-three! I didn't understand there were two ways to look at the object I assembled and it created a problem much further down the line when I tried to get other pieces to align. This is how mistakes often affect us - they may not be fully recognizable until we attempt to get other things to "align" in our lives.
Retakes are an opportunity to "take back" or "take again" certain steps. We do a "retake" when we want to correct something that didn't go as planned or turn out as well as we'd have liked. In the film making industry, retakes are common. The director will call for them time and time again, getting the lighting just right, having the characters portray just the right amount of emotion or passion in their acting, or even just having the right pauses where he wants them - all in the interest of getting it right. In life, we want to "get it right". We want to do it right the first time, but if you are like me, your life has been a series of "retakes" along the way! It is nothing to be ashamed of - grace is really God's version of a retake!
John Maxwell reminds us, "A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them." If we are honest here, most of the time we don't want to "publicly" admit them - nor do we want anyone to know we have taken steps to correct them - we just want them to see that we "got it right". If we are to help each other in this lifetime, we need to realize mistakes are part of life and we often will profit most from those others share with us - for their steps taken in their "retakes" are often what can help us out of our own mistaken path or keep us from ever veering in that direction in the first place! Rather than conceal a mistake, be honest to share when a "retake" has been necessary. Sometimes it is realizing a "reset" was needed that actually stimulates another to realize their own life needs a similar "retake"! Just sayin!
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