I told y’all in my monthly post that I was going to do a quote study. And now here I am. 🙂 I’m doing the monthly quote today, but I will be doing more in the future (as in this month).
“Your best teacher is your last mistake.” ~Unknown
It may seem like a simple statement. This quote is quite simple, that is true. It is also quite right.
Have you ever seen those statements that are powerful or eye-catching on billboards? That’s what they’re designed to be. Statements on billboards are supposed to catch the eye of the driver and make them interested in what that billboard is advertising; which leads to the company, it’s products, it’s staff, and finally, that same company making money. All of that from a simple statement?
These statements don’t have to be encouraging.
In fact, have you ever watched a commercial? (Heck, we’re American, the answer is a yes). That first line is the ear-catcher.
Do you have a loved one with (blank)? Do you want the best life for them? If so…
Well, of course, I do. They are my “loved” one after all.
(Name of illness) is a serious disease and you need…
Those words. Need. Loved one. Best life. They catch your attention because, if you have that disease or know someone that does, you want the best life. I don’t believe in drugs and all of that but I see the underlying statements of the advertiser. You need this. At least that’s what they want you to think. And then you’ve got the debate, “It’s better than (name) drug that only lasts six hours!”
Do I Have a Point?
Yes, I’m not going on a rabbit trail about billboards for nothing. We’re done with billboards for now, so no worries. My point is this: simple statements bring big reactions. These “life quotes” (or billboard statements) cause a reaction. They get us fired up. They encourage us. They make us do something. Or think something.
This particular quote is to inspire, uplift, encourage. People will make a mistake and then they feel awful. Guilt and shame seep in. But, instead of falling after the fall (mistake) what if we rise from that same thing that tried to drag us down? People need to realize that mistakes can have two reactions.
- “I feel bad. I shouldn’t have done it. But, I know that it’s wrong now and I think I can make a better decision next time. And if someone goes down that path, maybe I can encourage them out of that.”
- “I’m a disappointment. I hate my life. I hate myself. Why am I so stupid? This is probably because of that other mistake I made.” (And then you go through all your mistakes, which makes you feel worse).
Are these slightly stereotypical? Yes. These are the big two. Not all of the options, someone may go from “Why am I so stupid?” to “But everyone is stupid sometimes.” It’s just the big two answers, really.
You are going to make mistakes.
And yet through all those silly, ridiculous, horrible, crappy mistakes you’ve made, you can always make a change. Everyone says “I wish the world was different,” but rarely they are the difference they wish to see. You want kindness? Be kind. You want love? Be loving. You want more forgiveness? Be forgiving. This doesn’t mean the world will magically become better because of one person, but that’s what makes a difference. People. People make differences. By books. By speeches. By wars with other people. All of these changes are either good and bad. Those people, too, make severe mistakes. There is one thing in common, and that is this:
You can get back up.
I’m sure you all have heard the phrase “You made the bed, now lie in it.” While it’s true, that bed isn’t a sinkhole. It’s a bed. You can’t just “lay down and die” (another phrase). If mistakes is what defined us, we’re basically all the same. We’ve all made them. But we haven’t all risen from them. We all don’t have that generous spirit. We’re not all super patient. It’s the “good, the bad, the ugly” That’s what makes us who we are.
I messed up, yes. I’m not perfect. But dang it, I’m good at (blank) and I love (blank) and (name) loves me, too. God created me. And I praise Him for it. And that’s what I need, nothing else. Mistakes and all. The cool thing about making mistakes if you don’t necassarily relate to people based on the good decisions you make, but the bad ones. For example, which is better?
Person: I know you can get out of that.
Person 2: How?
Person: I just do…God is good.
Person 2: You’ve never been here.
Person: I know you can get out of that
Person 2: How?
Person: God is good.
Person 2: You’ve never been here before.
Person: I have been in a similar situation, actually. I understand where you’re coming from.
You want relatability. You don’t want to make mistakes for the sake of it, but if you do, use them as tools for your work not weapons against yourself. Sometimes the people that make the worst mistakes become the best people. Think of Paul. He persecuted Christians and stoned people. God’s people. And after his Damascus road experience, he turned into one of the best Apostles of all time. He wrote several Epistles and led many people to Christ throughout his time. He went under severe persecution. He had been a horrible man hurting many people to an amazing man healing many people. And not once could he say, or he wanted to say, “I’ve almost always been a great Christian.”
People who have made the worst mistakes know what they have been saved from.
Let those mistakes teach you.
Let those mistakes guide you to a better you.
Let those mistakes help people.
Do not doubt yourself because of that mistake.
I hope you liked this quote study as much as I liked writing it. Love y’all and see ya soon.