3 Reasons Why It’s Good To Make Mistakes

I used to not forget anything.

Why It's Good to Make MistakesAnything, that is, that had to do with events/times/dates/etc. I’d write things on our calendar, set timers, write sticky notes, and even text myself. My weird personality and subconscious would hold hands and swim around inside my brain, whispering reminders in my ear as I was going to sleep.

“Don’t forget about that family dinner next Friday. . . Remember to turn on the crockpot as soon as you wake up.”

It was a source of pride.

And then we had a baby.

He wouldn’t nap to a timer, and the sticky notes kept falling off him. I forgot about his two-month check-up until it was too late. I missed a scheduled phone call. I’d walk into a room and beg my brain to remember what I came in there for. I felt like even my strengths were slipping away because of this little person.

Which was good, because it started to challenge beliefs I never knew I had.

I used to think: Mistakes = Sin.

Why It's Good to Make MistakesI didn’t make much of a distinction between being a finite human and being a sinner.

We are broken people living in a sin-stained world. This affects everything we do, including our mistakes. But that doesn’t mean every mistake is a sin.

My son is learning to drink milk from a cup. Sometimes it dribbles down his chin and splatters onto the table and floor. I don’t cry over it. And I don’t think Jesus cries over our spilled mistakes, either.

Before the Fall, Adam and Eve weren’t God. Even when we get to heaven, we won’t automatically know everything. We are human.

When mistakes are sin
Sometimes our mistakes do involve sin, though. It used to come naturally for me to feel guilty and abuse myself through my thoughts.

“Won’t you ever learn?”

“What’s your problem?”

It felt like some sort of penance. It was wrong.

Instead, God calls us to repent, ask for forgiveness (and the Spirit’s help), and then bask in the grace He offers because of Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus has paid the price for all my fallen-ness and sinful mistakes.

So what is the alternative? What should replace the feelings once heavy with guilt, the you’ll-never-be-good-enough accusations in my head?

Recently, I felt the Spirit prompting me to consider what would happen if we weren’t aware of our mistakes. What if we were perfect in our own eyes?

It brought to mind the phrase in Judges, where the people of Israel “did what was right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6) When we think we have it all together, pride can creep in, and even unbelief (depending on myself for everything).

Here are three reasons why I’m glad God let’s me make mistakes.

Why It's Good to Make Mistakes1. Remembering my need for Jesus

When everything is going well, we say we have it all under control. But what exactly do we have under our control? A clean house? Obedient children? Appearances can be deceiving.

So many people don’t acknowledge that God is the One who gave them life, allows each breath, and orders the universe. If we don’t take moments to remember, we may start to look and live like them. We may start to think we can do life without Him if we can just organize, plan, and do better.

2. Opportunity to grow in humility

It’s always been hard for me to try things I don’t anticipate doing well at. (You can imagine what the gym class skills tests did to my insides.) Parenting is an everyday reminder of my need for Jesus. Sometimes the day is filled with mistakes, and sometimes it’s just plain messy.

At times, I feel like I’m kicking and screaming my way into sanctification. But it’s in those times of insufficiency, I see my own insignificance.

3. Time to focus on the perfection and all-consuming grace of our Father

I don’t have to be perfect. Jesus doesn’t expect it, so I shouldn’t either. God sent Jesus to live the perfect life so I don’t have to. He knew I never could.

No matter how many stifled laughs or raised eyebrows I encounter (or fear encountering), I can choose to accept the grace the Father longs to give me–no matter how many times I face-plant.

9 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why It’s Good To Make Mistakes

  1. Thanks again, Alicia, for so vulnerably sharing your own journey and the insights God has granted you along the way. I can relate to everything you said, and I need to be reminded of it often. I was encouraged recently by another author that praying with hopeful expectation includes acknowledging that I don’t have to be able to do or even understand things but can simply trust in the love, grace, goodness, and power of the One who invites me to walk with Him through each day, knowing that He will answer my prayers in His own perfect way and timing. So comforting, isn’t it, to know that He knows our frailty and fallibility and loves us anyway!

    1. Amen to that! I’m so thankful that we serve a God who loves us as His children. I also like what you said about how God knows how to answer our prayers for our good and His glory. What love!

  2. This is precious, Alicia! I’m so grateful you are making time to share these fresh, encouraging posts with us! God bless you as you continue to seek Him in this full, stretching. somehow both monotonous and adventurous season of life!

    1. Thank you so much for your blessing, Rosie. It’s good for my soul to take the time to do it. 🙂 And you are so right. Sometimes it seems like I’m doing the same tasks over and over, and the next, something new happens that I need to run to God with. Love to you and your family.

  3. I love this post! As a fellow perfectionist, I resonate with your ideas and advice (as in, I am convicted and want to improve in this area by the grace of God!).

    1. I’ve often been scared to admit my internal struggles, but God has confirmed it each time I do. We are not alone. Thank you for all the ways you share your words, life, love and service to me and so many others.

  4. We have a lot in common:) I used to be organized and on top of things. Now I am forgetful and disorganized. It keeps me humble and reliant upon Christ. Great post!

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