Mess Up and Fess Up

Mess Up and Fess Up: having the courage and integrity to honestly admit to a mistake

When you make a mistake, admit it. If you don’t, you only make matters worse. Ward Cleaver

Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself. Shakespeare

You may make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you start blaming someone else. Author Unknown

  We will make our share of mistakes. This includes the unintended and those that might be labeled as premeditated, deceitful, dishonest or immoral. It is often easier to fess up to honest mistakes because we were not motivated by bad intentions or impure motives. There is nothing to hide. There are times when we give in to bad intention, temptation, and improper motive and do something we know to be wrong. Such mistakes are more difficult to confess. The more unethical, underhanded or ill-intended, the more difficulty we are likely to have.

    The more entangled our poor choices or actions, the more tempted we are to hide or cover up. No one likes to be embarrassed, ridiculed or criticized. The old adage that says one lie often leads to another lie teaches us the folly and foolishness of telling more lies to cover up a first lie. We can get so deep into lying that it becomes tougher and tougher to admit to what we have done. The wise and right thing to do is to stop our lies or our other ill-advised actions, admit to our mistakes, “fess up”, “come clean”, “eat humble pie”, and ask forgiveness. “Confession is good for the soul.”Anything less leads us deeper and deeper into more destructive behavior. We may suffer irrevocable damages for our foolish actions. “Mess up and fess up” is the good and sound policy.

    Kids learn the hard way the folly of telling lies to cover up lies. Many of us use our early childhood lesson to guide us daily. We are supposed to gain wisdom by learning from our mistakes. Whether we are guided by a moral conscience or not, it is foolish and unintelligent to do such incredibly dumb things such as lying. Our bad actions will eventually come back to bite us. We do not overcome our mistakes by trying to hide from them.

    It is a strength of character to admit to mistakes, whether they were intended or otherwise, we should accept the consequences and do our best not to repeat the same mistake a second time. Not only is fessing up the right thing to do morally, it is also the smart and intelligent thing to do. When we mess up, fessing up is nothing but “down home” basic common sense. It is what our mothers would want us to do?

Challenge: You will face many tough decisions. It is easy to be tempted to do things that are borderline or ill-advised. Sometimes you will make mistakes, intended or otherwise. The best choice is to admit to your mistakes when they are made. Usually, sooner is better. Giving in to a temptation, to hide or cover up a mistake is likely to cause you pain and misery. At some point it will come back to haunt and bite you. When you mess up, fess up.

Wisdom: One of the hardest things in this world is to admit you are wrong. And nothing is more helpful in resolving a situation than its frank admission. Benjamin Disraeli  

Spiritual: (NIV)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will given to you as well. Matt 6:33

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6

His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. Isaiah 28:26

 Sometimes we slip and have difficulty doing the right thing. We give into temptation, selfishness or other bad reasoning and do the wrong thing. When this happens, we are at a crossroad, we can admit our wrong, come clean, and make amends or we can try to hide it, cover it up, or lie about it. Sometimes our conscience lacks sufficient strength to do this. God’s strength is there to boost our ability and will enable us to do what is right.  

Prayer: Help me to overcome my weak-willed ways and to have the moral strength to do what is right.


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