By AYANNA CLARKE
I can’t believe I’m about to say this but: I believe we do ourselves a disservice when we give ourselves a break each time we slip up.
I get the logic. Slipping up can happen to anyone; we’re only human and there are always other times. All true! However, in the area of repeated mistakes we rob ourselves of personal growth when we fail to be our own judge, jury and executioner.
Here is the general scenario: We err in an area, then make excuses for ourselves. If anyone else dares correct us, at our best we simply ignore them, but at our worst, well, I’m sure you get my point.
I’m not advocating living in condemnation or even publicly acknowledging each and every mistake, but a little personal reflection, acknowledgement and correction of any weakness goes a long way in helping us avoid future missteps in the things we do.
Maybe, Paul’s strict discipline of his flesh in 1 Corinthians 9:27 can be applied to every area of our lives, giving us the opportunity to make as few errors as possible.
As jury, consider the evidence around each mistake. Did you have enough information, were you even capable of making a better decision?
As judge, sentence yourself to the discipline of better choices, a better attitude and better acts of responsibility.
As executioner, cut out the offensive behaviour once and for all, giving yourself room to grow. Honesty is the hallmark of true character. Perhaps we repeat errors because we have failed to be honest with the one person who truly matters in this area – ourselves.
If you find yourself a bit weak in the area of self judgement, there is an alternative.
Picture this: a Saturday evening praise team rehearsal. Team seated, musicians ready when I make the announcement, “Tell me what I need to do to be better.”
It’s never easy to hear from others how we can be better. In fact, I guarantee this request is seldom even heard. But people striving to reduce mistakes can’t do it by themselves. We must be willing to hear how we can become more effective, and less apt to err or screw things up.
Our thought then: Never be afraid to seek help. Those who do emerge from the objective scrutiny of honest opinions better for the experience; teaching that we can use criticism to our advantage.
I’m sure you’ve heard about Moses, the great deliverer of God’s people. Did you that at one point he was failing? He made the mistake of believing that he could judge the Israelites – thousands of people – all by himself. Moses and the people ended up being exhausted. After watching this, Jethro could not sit by. He gave Moses the wisdom he needed in order to become a better leader. Thankfully, Moses’ father-in-law was able to help him correct the blunder before he did further damage. Jethro becomes the hero for offering his advice, but the thing is Moses actually took the guidance.
Sadly, many of us will find ourselves repeating the same slip-ups and our potential greatness short circuited because we refuse to hear what we do wrong.
Taking advice requires two things:
• Being vulnerable and open to the information
• Being humble enough to put the advice into practice
I’m not saying to listen to every opinion, after all (and I’ve learned this lesson the hard way) not everyone has your best interest at heart. I feel you on this much more than I’m willing to share. But if you can hear and apply wisdom from someone you can trust who has actually been where you are, you can scratch this flop off your list and move onto eliminating another.
God bless you this week.