Winning, Losing, and Spilled Milk – How We Respond to Mistakes

I’m not sure where it was originally said, but people generally don’t disagree with the following statement: “Errors, miscalculations, and blunders are the “unforgivable sin” in today’s society.” You’ve grown up with it and your kids live it in our world today. Failure is not an option. I think it was Vince Lombardi who said “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” That makes for inspiring locker room talk…and believe me, I’m a fierce competitor, but this cultural norm is causing some pretty big issues in the home as fewer kids and adults know how to effectively respond to mistakes and failures. Chances are you’ve seen this monster first hand and even played out in your kids’ lives. This attitude is the emphasis that says if you mess up, you’re a failure and a nobody, you’re not worthy to move on. 

 

This “winner” mentality has left many of us and our children shipwrecked on a sand bar that prevents us from leading successful and fulfilled lives.

 

But here’s the truth. The clear teaching of the New Testament is that we will make mistakes…every single one of us…no exceptions. Life consists of how we react when we make mistakes, not whether or not we will make them. I’ll never forget a short video I watched. It took place a the dinner table with mom, dad and four kids, the youngest was likely about five or six years old. In the midst of conversation about the day’s events, the youngest knocks over his glass of milk. Now he didn’t just knock it over. He accidentally launched it across the table sending white liquid everywhere and leaving a path of destruction in its wake. The silence that followed was deafening. All eyes were looking to dad, waiting for the justified discipline, the frustration, the anger necessary to deal with the situation. Seizing the moment, dad looks at his youngest son and does the unthinkable…he knocks over his glass. All over everything! And then he laughs. That was most assuredly a defining moment for that family that will never be forgotten. Dad was shouting without saying a word, “mistakes happen…to all of us…it’s ok…let’s move on.”

 

Spilled any milk lately? Get busy!


Categories: Modeling Authenticity / Showing Compassion

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