A man’s errors are his portals of discovery. James Joyce
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. Jefferson
It is only an error in judgment to make a mistake, but it shows infirmity, of character to adhere to it when discovered. Christian Bovee
Show me someone whom makes no errors and I will show you someone who may be more adequately described as vegetative rather than as a viable and fully functioning human being. If we never make any errors or mistakes we are not fully engaged in living at an acceptable level of effort.
Most of us tasted some success when we learned to walk, ride a bicycle, drive a car or perhaps learned to swim, ski, play golf or something similar. Chances are we fell down more than once when learning to walk and also as we learned to ride a bike. It is likely none of us suffered any serious injuries from our falls; we got back on our feet or on our bike and tried again and again until we got it right. We made our share of errors and mistakes in our various attempts. We may have fallen many times, but we kept getting up, and learned from each of our falls. Eventually we learned enough through our experiences to taste success. We learned by doing.
A very wise adage says that if we never make any mistakes we are not trying enough things. Some have said if we are right only fifty-one percent of the time, we are successful. There are many adages that attest to never quitting, always getting back up, continuing the effort and forging ahead. What gives these adages credibility? Most would agree we are equipped with tremendous learning potential. Through experience we learn. As we learn we gain wisdom. As we gain wisdom, we make better decisions. Eventually, we tend to make fewer errors and mistakes and we tend to get better and better at tasting some degree of success as we continue to get older. We may still fall down when we try things we have never tried before, but if we get back up each time, chances are we will learn from each fall, and eventually we will not fall down nearly as much.
Errors and mistakes must be kept in proper perspective. It is always preferable not to make any, but as long as we learn from them, they serve purposes. We learn through our experiences. We gain experience through making the effort. The process starts with the initial effort. We must do and try in order to get the most out of our lives.
Challenge: How often do you venture out, take a risk or put yourself in a position where you may make an error or mistake? Are you someone who does not attempt enough new things because you do not want to run the risk of falling down? The more this applies to you, the more you are short-changing yourself of life’s opportunities for growth and development. You will never run out of the need to continue to learn to walk or ride your bicycle.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6
We life by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
A part of getting wiser is to realize that making mistakes and errors is part of life. Most of us have likely experienced our greatest moments of learning as we recovered from making our greatest errors. It seems we learn the most from doing thing the wrong way. We have a hard time listening to the wisdom of others, especially the wisdom that comes from God. If we will listen to God’s advice we will make fewer errors.
Prayer: Help me to have the courage and faith to risk falling down in order to keep learning and growing.