It's time for your comeback!
We can be our own worst critic, which in turn can be the reason we have such a hard time bouncing back from a mistake or poor choice. Poor can mean low or inferior standard or quality. So when our decisions are “poor” we feel poor because we knew better or we didn’t know better and feel bad for our ignorance. A poor choice is choice that lacks knowledge, wisdom, and maybe even the right timing; it is a choice deficient in standard and/or quality.
We’ve all been there, when we have made a choice and later regretted it because of the results we yielded and how we felt about those results. I’ve learned throughout my life journey that we can also make poor choices by default-meaning we did what was modeled before us and didn’t ask the right questions so we just ended up repeating a cycle that we didn’t create. For example you saw your grandmother cook something a certain way so you started it cooking it that way only to find out that it was wrong all together-sorry grandmas! We can make poor choices because we are not taking our personal value into consideration as well.. The latter for me was huge, meaning I made some poor choices because I was not considering my personal worth and sometimes my professional value so I made a poor choice and accepted a status quo situation when in fact I brought so much more to the table than what I accepted at the time. Sometimes I made decisions that were poor so ofcourse they didn’t have much benefit for me but actually worked for the benefit of others which is worse! So what can you do when you make a decision that’s lacking the best return on investment? Here are some things I’ve found helpful and freeing so that I was ready to do better in my future.
Acknowledge it- There is nothing worse that dealing with someone who does not want to admit
they have made a mistake or done wrong so don‘t be one of those people. This demeanor exudes a prideful spirit which will only produce a fall somewhere in your life. I’ve learned that the humble road is the high road; there is nothing worse that eating “crow” when you could have just admitted where you went wrong. Humility doesn’t always feel good but it is the high road that should be taken when we’ve gotten off course. Admitting a poor choice also frees you from the condemnation and guilt associated with hiding behind the option you picked.
Axe Assumptions- Don’t shoulder the idea that you’ve done nothing wrong. You may need to take a deeper look into the situation to mine for ideals outside of your own to find out if you have missed something you actually needed to take into consideration. It could be that you simply needed to follow through on a task or assignment and you didn’t so you forfeited good results in that particular circumstance. Remember when dealing with others people don’t always experience life through the same lens as you do so be open to listening to other people’s point of view. Don’t assume your way is the only good way to do something.
Apologize-“That was my mistake” is a great way to start an apology then maybe interjecting, “My error was” then ending with, “I can do this next time to prevent.” As a believer, there is a word we use called, “repent” this goes deeper than an apology. Repent is defined as to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin. Turning from your mistake or sin is not the true definition of repentance it is the result of that turn. True repentance is turning from that sin or poor choice with godly sorrow and a decision to not do it again. One of the meanings of repentance in the Greek language is metanoeo, meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which the cancellation of debt to sin is promised by God.
Turn Around-Make a decision that you will not allow your emotions to keep you from an opportunity to grow by choosing to use your mistake as an opportunity to mature as a person. In my experience I have had to ask for help in maturing because if the situation seemed too hard or overwhelming I needed to run to God for His help. The bible says it like this, “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe (Psalm 61). I’ve prayed when I was unable to make a character change myself and God in His insatiable grace, strength and enablement to helped me make that change. Now He will never over-ride our will -this scenario I speak of is a willingness to turn over whatever you may be struggling with to accept God’s way of doing things by way of His Word. His Spirit then steps in to change what you cannot.
There is a verse that says, “The truth makes us free” (John 8:32) so we must know the truth about a thing in order to be free in our character and our decision making. Once we have the truth and we are not operating off of a lie we can make a sound choice in any area of our lives. Sometimes we need help to change our hearts and God promises in His Word that He can give us a new heart- Ezekiel 36:26–And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. In other words, God can get rid of the old and give you the new! The Holy Spirit not only gives us access to the gifts of God in full (Ephesians 1:3); he also helps us apply those gifts to our lives in an ever increasing manner throughout our lives. This is called sanctification, which is the process by which we learn to live more and more holy. The Holy Spirit works through us and gives us power to resist evil and produce good for God.
Arise-Get up! I know it can be hard but you will need to forgive yourself so you can move forward. In order to start fresh, you need to feel the pain and grievance over your mistake and then have a funeral for it so you can live again. Ironically, making a poor choice can give you the confidence you need in yourself to make a better choice the next time. If you are truly sorry about a choice you will not do it over and over again, you will extract the lesson from it but refuse to not make an idol of the poor choice. When you idolize your poor choice, mulling it over and over you open your life up to regret which leads to depression. In addition, when you allow others to keep repeating your mistake you give your foul-ups more power than your ability to recover, so stop that! Stay positive and do your best to stay around positive environments. Don’t be afraid to step away from people, places or things that thrive on negativity. Your goal should be to learn the lesson not allow someone to browbeat you with their toxicity. So always, always vibrate toward a healthy place, forgive and live again!
Accept- Accept the truth that you made a mistake but you are not a mistake. Accept the fact that
you have a greater call waiting on the other side your mess up. Sometimes we can feel unworthy, not ready or unprepared to accept the call to walk deeper in our purpose especially if we’ve made poor choices- but as the meme has said, “Jesus never called the qualified He qualifies the called.” Maybe we’ve even been hurt by the thing we love to do, or we are not making the progress in the thing we feel we are called to and so because of the hurt we stand on the sidelines apprehensive to jump all in because we don’t want to be hurt again. We may even shirk the responsibility that is required to live in the depths of purpose that we know we are called to and to live fulfilled while serving others because of fear of messing up again. So what do we do when either is the case? I believe after we have done all we know to do to correct our mistakes we need fix our gaze and attention to Jesus who alone is able to give us the strategy and supply we need to take the leap of faith into our purpose walk. The first thing we will need is a commitment to where we are going instead of where we’ve been. Once this is established we must decide to set our affections and our focus on the direction God is leading us. The disciple Peter, in his zeal swore he would never deny Jesus, yet in an intense time of political turmoil Peter betrayed Jesus by denying that he even knew Jesus not once but three times! Who does that you ask? I believe all of us have at one time or another either we’ve denied Jesus’ existence or we’ve denied His call on our life in order to accommodate our comfort zone. So before we judge Peter we must take inventory on the time we had a momentary memory lapse about who we were called to be or what we were called to do. It’s hard to grapple with the thought that anyone could betray Jesus because he is so good, so kind, so loving and so giving but Peter did and I cannot imagine the depths of shame and regret he must have experienced. I’ve experienced some of that same shame and regret behind poor decisions, moments of cowardice and duplicity of character but God who is faithful knew that I would mess up but He already had my comeback prepared! With intent to restore Peter, Jesus prepared brunch on the beach. Some of the most major moments in bible history were over a meal because sharing a meal means sharing communion and intimacy with one another. Before the meal, In John 21, the A-team decided to go
fishing but failed to catch anything after fishing all night, then something happened, Jesus shows up with a strategy. He affectionately asked them if they had caught any fish throughout the night, they said, “No.” Jesus instructed them to take a new approach and as they did that they caught so many fish they could barely drag them in without help. I think it's amazing that Jesus can turn both you and your situation around from pathetic to prospering and powerful! When the disciples finally got to land, Jesus instructed them to come and eat breakfast. I believe Jesus is demonstrating that before we do anything for Him we need to spend time fellowshipping with Him. Before proceeding to restore Peter from his betrayal- in Jesus fashion, he served the disciple’s breakfast, another demonstration of servant-leadership. After breakfast Jesus met with Peter alone to ask him three times, “Do you love me?” While Peter did confess his love for Jesus he refrained from answering the question. “Do you love me more than the other disciples?” Peter digressed and left that to Jesus infinite knowledge by answering, “ Lord You know all things.” I love how Jesus asked Peter this question three times because it wipes out the three times Peter denied Jesus and also confers forgiveness and empowerment onto Peter. I believe the betrayal of Jesus by Peter brought on a great humbling for Peter where as before the betryayal he just doing all the talking now he was at attention and listening. Jesus called him Simon Peter, the name Simon means to listen or to have heard; now that Peter had gone through that hard situation he was in a position to hear Jesus and not just the sound of his own his voice. Life has a way of humbling us but never too low where Jesus cannot pick us up and restore our confidence in Him and ourselves, in doing so he prepares us for our assignments.
After Simon Peter’s confession of love for Jesus he was instructed to feed the Lord’s lambs, tend his sheep and feed His sheep. He went on to do some amazing things as he walked out his purpose in Christ- He preached the inaugural sermon after the coming of the Holy Spirit, healed a lame man, and was freed from prison by an angel for standing for the name of Jesus! I believe Peter was demonstrating his love for Jesus by the laying down his life and answering the call on his life. Jesus was giving Peter an opportunity to redeem himself from his the mistake of boasting in himself and boasting in his love for Jesus more than the other disciples. Peter denied knowing Jesus three times-what a tough mistake to try to come back from but Jesus never leaves us in the state he finds us in he always offers to restore us better.
Access-One of the reasons I love Jesus is because he knows we will make mistakes but He is so faithful to our moral success that he will always offer us a “do-over.” As long as we are willing to change God will never leave us the way he finds us, He has a way of taking our junk and turning it to jewels. Jesus told Peter he would betray him but Peter didn’t believe him so he experienced firsthand his ability to betray one that he loved. I believe Peter was shown his duplicity, vanity of mind and lack of courage so that he could later identify with those he would minister to and come down from the pedestal he’d placed himself on. Did this experience mean Peter would never be a leader again? No, in fact this encounter with Jesus proved that God prefers mercy over judgement. God would rather see you healed, whole and set free versus being locked up in the jail of sin and shame. Jesus came to set the captive free even if that means it’s one of His own! Bottom line here, God uses imperfect people who love Him. Our responsibility is to continue to mature in our character and our call. Jesus re-instated Peter to his position as leader. Peter would go on to be used greatly and during another growth spurt be even be rebuked again by the Apostle Paul for duplicity. I believe we can all identify with Peter on some level and he teaches us that as believers having a tight-knit relationship with Jesus Christ is more important than our boasting in our ability or of even knowing Jesus. Jesus restored Peter to his position and commissioned him to “feed His lambs.” We see Peter walking in his assignment in the book of Acts where he preached his first message so well that Bible says people were cut to the heart and received his word and were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Say this with me, “God can use me again.”
Act Wisely-Moving forward from a poor choice requires repentance but it also requires vision. A new vision of your forgiven self and a new vision for your life and goals. Peter concerned himself with the affairs of another disciple in that same story and Jesus response was “You follow Me.” In other words, focus on Me and your purpose .In order to rebound from a poor choice, continue to confront character issues in your life and develop personally, commit to the new and improved vision by carrying out goals and be courageous as you keep moving forward.
Empowered Living 2018