your mistakes are often your best opportunities

How do you perceive mistakes & problems in your life? Normal? OK? Healthy? Good? Inevitable? Or do you fear them?

Growing up did you experience being told off when you made mistakes? Were things explained to you? Did you get mentored?

What do we all do when something goes wrong and we make a mistake? Normally there are a few moments of dismay, frustration, but do we then shift gear? Normally if it is something we feel we can cope with, then we all generally make an effort to rectify the situation, change occurs and things can even get better than they were prior to the mistake.

mistakes and problems are a feedback mechanism to show us that things need to change

The concept of indemnity in the Divine Principle is meant to be about fixing, not about suffering.

Of course there are a range of mistakes and problems that we encounter: knocking over a glass of milk, losing something, not preparing for something properly, misunderstandings, dysfunctional relationships.

If I knock over and break a glass in the kitchen and then sweep it into the corner and leave it there, my wife is going to look at me with a look of serious concern and worry that I have ‘lost it’. But both her and I and many of us are quite capable of sweeping more complex relational mistakes into the corner unresolved.

The different situations we all face are often great opportunities to bring positive and revolutionary change to our relationships and circumstances.

But we struggle with a neural pathway that was initiated probably thousands of years ago which rather than proactively seeking to take responsibility, often prefers to pass the buck:

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden…” Click here to Read the rest of Genesis 3:8-14 to get the picture.

And then we see the same attitude developing in their son Cain’s response: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

What is the culture in your family, community, place of work? Is their space to make innocent mistakes, and then a culture to sort them out.

Last week I experienced a software crash that wiped all my email lists that I had not backed up. But it turned out to be an opportunity to make something much better than I had before.

A few years ago I had a relationship with someone in my family that had not been good for a while, but then it got impossible. the mistakes in communication got worse. Again, that serious down turn turned into a hidden miracle, because it led me to DO something about the situation. And now I have a relationship with that person that is flourishing and significantly better than before the sudden down turn.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 God says to Paul ‘my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Essentially encouraging us to not be too full of ourselves and be honest with God about our limitations, and thus allowing him to work with us to bring change.

Honesty creates space for God.

So here is an enlightened perspective for you and I on the mishaps in our life from Stephen Stacey:

Mistakes and problems are a feedback mechanism to show you that there is something to change or improve in your life. They are God and the universe’s way of saying: ” you still need to grow and change.”

If you are someone striving to become a disciple of Christ then be an intentional and active learner. Don’t be afraid to make innocent mistakes, have no fear. But do remember to learn when things go wrong – avoid repeating the same mistakes again and again.

What was the bigger problem for our human ancestors: Breaking God’s commandment, or trying to pass the buck and sweep their sin under the carpet?

Here is the message about mistakes from last Sunday at 43LG.

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About simoncooper

working at 43LG church community in West London

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2 Responses to your mistakes are often your best opportunities

  1. Profile photo of Nigel Barrett
    Nigel Barrett June 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I think we have to be very careful when using the word ‘mistake’ when the words ‘sin’ or ‘crime’ would be better. We can only not fear making mistakes and treat them as opportunities when they do not refer to a deliberate evil act. I think the bigger problem of the firt ancestors was to commit the Fall – bar a long, long way. Unification Thought talks about the utter total shock of God in the moment of the Fall. Passing the buck is a consequence of the the Fall.

  2. Profile photo of simoncooper
    simoncooper June 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Hi Nigel, yes, I agree we need to be careful to distinguish. Just, when I was reading Genesis 3 and noticing how God was still in a conversation with Adam and Eve and that they were still able to talk with him, (what ever that means in real life) I got the feeling that there was a lot of scope to fix the situation. And I remember studying in the Settlement Age Workshop (it’s now had a politically correct name in change – ODP plus, ironically because of the mistakes of it’s initiator) that God still hoped to resolve matters still with in the framework of that first family.

    I appreciate your point that passing the buck came about partly because of the previous action of breaking God’s commandment which was the beginnings of a pattern. Just I guess I am making the point that to look at bad situations more constructively is a healthy approach to fixing them. And in someway passing the buck is the worse of the two sins because it helps to engrain it permanently in the heart of the offender, rather than recognising God’s grace to forgive and resolve the conflict. I don’t think one can say categorically either way one is worse than the other, rather just posing the question is a way to think creatively about the whole situation.

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