What To Do When You Mess Up

I don’t get it, the forecast was 70% chance of rain showers and thunderstorms, no way I was going to play kickball with my 8th grade guys.  So I played on the side of safety and cancelled our small group get together yesterday afternoon.  As soon as the email was sent out, the sun parted the clouds, it didn’t rain until hours after the game would have ended.  I felt like a goat.
When we make a mistake like that we can face a number of emotions, what we do with those emotions can really affect the relationships we have with our ministers, teens, parents or pastor.  So what should you do when you make a mistake big or small?

  1. Apologize – I sent an email later that night telling parents and students that I was sorry for my poor guess.  Was it necessary?  Probably not, but it’s important to show others that you care if they were inconvenienced or disappointed.
  2. Be Honest – I don’t know about you but I have knee jerk reaction to make a promise to “fix it” if I’ve let someone down.  The best thing to do again is show someone that you care.  Only promise to do something that you’ll follow through on or else you’ll create a pattern of disappointment.
  3. Embrace Ownership Of Your Decision – In my situation I was not in control of the weather, but I was of my decision.  Sometimes we’ll make good ones, sometimes bad ones.  I could have gone around pointing blame at the forecast or God, but all that would do is show I’m not grown enough to own my decisions. 

I’m don’t want to be too hard on myself, because I find that there is a lot to learn from our mistakes.  On top of the emotions experienced in my decision I learned from parents that their sons understood but were sad not to see their friends from group.  To me it was a win because I saw that my guys enjoy each other’s presence from the bond they’ve built over two years.

Again, there are a lot of emotions in our decisions.  How do you handle the ones in your poor decisions?

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  • Ellen Franklin says:

    By cancelling the kickball, Luke was able to join his brothers in playing squash with his 79 year old grandfather – an experience he will treasure more when he’s older. All worked out for the best!

  • Ellen, appreciate the feedback, everything works out for a reason, hope he faired well against his grandfather.