Clinging to mistakes

Someone once said, “Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

I think there’s incredible wisdom in that statement. But what does it mean?

The last I checked, we humans don’t like to be wrong. But we sometimes are. Even still, we will defend decisions, words or actions that we suspect were misguided simply because we don’t want to admit that we made a mistake.

Since we invested a lot of time into making that mistake—and subsequently defending that mistake—we live under the illusion that we need to keep on pretending it wasn’t actually a mistake. In this sense we “cling” to it.

Today’s devotional isn’t an excuse to give up on an important promise or a relationship just because it’s tough. But it is an invitation to be honest about certain mistakes that you cling to distinctly because of pride, and to give yourself permission to make a mid-course correction.

Maybe you’re half-way through a degree program and you realize it’s the wrong direction for you. Maybe you’re a leader in your business or organization and you’re basing your trajectory on a set of principles that were designed for the 1950’s. Maybe you continually argue with a friend about something that happened who-knows-when but you’ve staked your reputation on being right.

In the book of James in the Bible, Jesus’ half-brother counsels that “the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17).

Is your kind of wisdom pure and sincere? Or is it so pride-soaked and invested in being right that you don’t have the humility and sober intelligence to make a mid-course correction?

Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.”

By Matthew Ruttan

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