What Comes After the Mistake?

During the beginning of a new year it’s common to think about mistakes you made in 2014. Some of us might even be thinking of mistakes from prior years. While some of us think about past mistakes, friends around us talk about 2015 with excitement…looking at the New Year as a fresh slate and a new beginning.

Recently I was listening to Jon Simeon talk about his job. Now if you are trying to rack your brain figuring out who Jon Simeon is and what books he has completed you can just stop now. You have probably never heard about before today.

Jon Simeon is an Alaska State Trooper. He is one of about 80 Alaska State Wildlife Troopers who patrol the entire state of Alaska. Jon deals with a lot of folks who make mistakes…big ones… just as any law enforcement officer does. However, in passing, Jon made this statement. Here is what he said:

Mistakes happen all the time but it’s what you do after the mistake that counts.

Let me say this again so it sinks in. Mistakes happen all the time but it’s what you do after the mistake that counts.

Trooper Simeon hit the nail on the head with this statement. We all need to acknowledge that mistakes happen in our lives. Mistakes have occurred and they will again. The true mark of character is what you do after the mistake.

Everyday police officers see people make mistakes and then try to conceal what they did. Rather than simply admitting the mistake, the lies begin in an attempt to conceal the poor choice. Many of us do the same thing in our daily lives. We make a mistake and then look for ways to blame others, hide the action, minimize it, or look for some way to save face.

I am reminded of a verse in Proverbs. In fact, the verse is Proverbs 29:13. Here is what it says:

People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

As 2015 begins, let’s all realize that we’re going to make mistakes. It is going to happen. So, start focusing on what you will do after the mistake is made. Do what Proverbs instructs. Confess your mistakes to whomever you offended, ask for forgiveness from the person you offended, ask for God’s forgiveness, and learn not to make the same mistake again.

If we will all do this, we will receive mercy, we will spend less time fretting about our mistakes, those around us will respect us for our truthfulness, we can focus on what is ahead of us rather than what is behind us, and 2015 will be off to a great start.

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