While we are made in His likeness, we are all subject to original sin. Nobody is perfect and we are all works in progress. As a result, mistakes are sometimes inevitable. While we might never reach perfection, we can learn how to handle our mistakes with dignity and learn from them.
Denial is Not a River
The worst thing we can do when we make a mistake is to try to gloss over it. Pretending it never happened does not make it go away. It just encourages others to feel put off and upset about our behavior. The first step in the right direction is to admit to ourselves we were wrong. Then we can get ready to share that realization with others and make retribution. If we can't admit our shortcomings to ourselves, how can we truly make amends with the world around us?
Hard For Me to Say I'm Sorry
Apologizing can be difficult. It is a public admission of our mistake and often feels rather awkward. Try practicing in front of the mirror. Say a prayer and ask for the strength to face your wrongdoing. Then sincerely express how sorry you are to the people who were hurt. Be ready to handle the consequences, both positive and negative. Sometimes people simply want an apology and everything is better right away. Other people might not be willing to forgive you immediately. Either way, reassure the person you are really sorry and refrain from getting angry or irritated. It is better to walk away after the apology if you sense the other person is in an argumentative mood. Encourage the person to contact you in the future for further discussion.
Make It Better
Did you say something awful on social media? Delete your comments and always use social media for positive purposes. Avoid negative banter and gossip that could follow you for many years to come. What you say on social media could come back to haunt you and even prevent you from getting certain opportunities professionally or socially. If you took something that did not belong to you give it back. Find a way to make amends for what you did to make the situation better. Consider the white paper recently released by Seidler Chemical. It outlines basics about site remediation to help businesses clean up the environment to protect life by improving the quality of the water, soil and air around us. Even corporations can be conscientious about how they treat the world around us.
Each day people make accidental mistakes. With tax season around the corner, consider making an error on your tax return. You might be rushing to get all the numbers together and transpose one of them. Instead of feeling guilty or worrying if you get caught, file an amended tax return to correct the mistake. We all make mistakes without initially realizing it. Once you recognize your error, failure to correct it is the biggest mistake.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
There's no need to feel badly about yourself for making a mistake. The key is to figure out why you made the mistake and find ways to correct it as well as avoid similar errors in the future. Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. He recognized humanity made mistakes and came to save us. We need to pray, work harder to be better people and consider the words "What would Jesus do?" before we take action. Confess your sins to Him with an open heart and ask for forgiveness.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9