Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous, do not plunder their dwelling place; for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
— Proverbs 24:15-16
As a young entertainer, Will Rogers’ stage specialty used to be rope tricks. One day, on stage, in the middle of his act, he became tangled in his lariat. But instead of becoming frustrated, Rogers laughed and spoke up in his Oklahoma drawl, “A rope ain’t so bad to get tangled up in if it ain’t around your neck!”
The audience roared at his impromptu response. Encouraged by his warm reception, Rogers began adding commentary and satire to all his performances. It was his commentary, not his rope tricks, that eventually made him famous.
Had Rogers not become tangled in his rope that day, he might never have discovered his ability to wow crowds with his wit. That’s because, very often, our mistakes open doors to new possibilities that we never imagined had things gone the way we originally intended.
Understanding this can give us a new perspective on our mistakes. When we begin to see our mishaps as opportunities to learn new things and gain new experiences, it completely transforms our outlook on our lives and ourselves.
Don’t let your mistakes discourage you. Instead, look for what God is teaching you through them and go in new directions. Being willing to learn from your shortcomings and your mistakes will mature you!
Pray that God would help you to learn lessons from your mistakes that would spur you on to spiritual maturity.
Questions for Thought
Think of a mistake you’ve made in the past that has actually helped you. What would have happened if things had gone the way you originally planned?
How can seeing your mistakes as growth opportunities change the way you respond when things don’t go your way?