Last week I made a pretty dumb mistake.
That doesn’t make me a dumb person, but an intelligent who in a moment when he wasn’t paying attention, made a foolish choice.
But that didn’t take away the feeling of shame and embarrassment.
Shame is a natural response when we have made a foolish mistake, so this is not sinful. Allowing that shame to affect our choices in the future DEFINITELY IS.
You see, Satan loves to tell us things in that moment of shame that simply aren’t true:
- “You ALWAYS make foolish mistakes”
- “You are a dumb person, who could never succeed”
- Or “You may as well not attempt the hard things, since you’ll just fail always”
When Satan told me these lies after my foolish choice last week I knew they weren’t true….
The problem was in that moment of shame they FELT as if they were true!
Failure (and the shame that comes with it) is a part of life. So the important thing isn’t to try to escape it, but deal with that embarassment when it comes.
And for me, that means embracing it.
This is a hard thing to do becuse what we FEEL like doing is moving on from that shameful experience because it’s painful. But actually the Lord uses our failures as a time for personal evaluation.
This means asking some hard questions.
- Why did I make this embarassing mistake?
- What weakness, or sin is God pointing out through this experience?
- What could I have done to keep this mistake from happening?
- And how can I keep this mistake from ever happening again?
Through these hard (and painful) questions I often, with the Holy Spirit’s help, realize the core problem of my shameful experience. And then create a habit that can keep it from happening again.
The shame of failure is God’s way of showing us how we can serve Him better. It is far better to own our failure than to act it never happened.