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Handling Mistakes

How to react and how to recover.

Slip-ups haunt every pastor. Some are minor; others trigger long-term problems. But not all mistakes have to be fatal. Here are some ways to prevent them from becoming terminal.

Mistake Reflexes

Mistakes can cause our hearts to churn with painful emotions and impulses. Identifying our emotions is important in not further compounding our problems and to put us on the track of recovery. Here are several emotions that often go hand-in-hand with failure:

  • Regret. Second-guessing ourselves is easy. We think, I should have been more sensitive with her, or I should have guessed what was happening to him.
  • Frustration. On paper, our ideas often look marvelous. In reality, though, we often find no one wants to have anything to do with our brilliance. When that happens, we do our best to talk people into our idea but wind up growing more frustrated with them.
  • Self-pity. Sometimes we react by adopting a victim mentality and feeling sorry for ourselves. It's as natural as nursing our hand after touching a hot griddle. But if we let ourselves wallow too long, the wound never heals. The pain never leaves, and eventually we are crippled.
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