I’ve made lots of mistakes, this past year is no exception. Relationships, goals, college, internship, sports—I’ve had plenty of opportunities to screw up—and screw up I have. I swept conflict under the rug, wasn’t involved at church, dropped the ball at work, was a selfish in relationships, and wasn’t moving towards my goals. I should have moved out after my freshman year of college, changed churches sooner, worked harder to develop better connections at work, and been more selfless in my relationships. I messed up, but what did I do about it?
At first I wallowed in guilt and shame. I threw a pity party for myself. I was a victim and life wasn’t fair. Then I woke up to the reality I was living in and took responsibility; I made the changes I could. I learned to handle conflict more effectively, became more involved at church, contributed wholeheartedly at my internship, did what was best in my relationships, and selected a career path. I took advantage of every failure as an opportunity to grow, becoming more mature, developing stronger character and finding my passion for people. I reflected about what happened and the choices I had made. I asked the hard questions and challenged myself to grow closer to God throughout this time. What steps had I been taking?
James 1:2-4 (one of my favorite passages) says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” The mistakes we make are those times of trouble, providing us with the opportunity to endure and grow in our faith! So let’s take advantage of all the opportunity we have, both in our success and failure.
Grow from your mistakes.