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How to Turn Your Costly Mistake into Something Great

The mistakes, failures and wrong turns in life can be costly in all kinds of ways. But the cost doesn’t have to be worthless. Here’s how to turn what went wrong into something priceless.

Kyle WinklerBy Kyle Winkler
Author & Bible Teacher

Recently, I’ve been on a bit of a home improvement kick. After finally mastering the renovation of my carpeted stairs to hardwood, my confidence in my abilities was high, and I began to look around the house for other tasks to tackle. Next on my do-it-yourself to-do list was an upgrade to tile flooring in a handful of areas throughout my house.

My Costly Mistake

After consulting with a friend who had done this before, he and I decided to get our feet wet with an entranceway. While this wasn’t a huge area, our very part-time availability to work coupled with having to learn and relearn some skills proved challenging. Consequently, what should have been a two-day project turned in to five, accompanied with backaches, blisters and blood!

After taking a couple week break, my friend and I each separately came to the conclusion that we were in way over our heads. With this, I hired a professional.

Lessons learned are often expensive, but in the end, they’re worth the cost.

As the contractor began his work, I quickly realized the difference 30 years of experience makes. So much difference, in fact, that I started to consider a difficult decision to have him tear up and redo all the work we slaved over just weeks before.

As I mulled over the decision, I complained to the Lord that with all the time and tools already invested, the project would end up costing me more than if I had hired it out from the start.

Shortly into my protest, I felt God deposit a word into me that made up my mind. “Lessons learned are often expensive,” He reminded. “But in the end, they’re worth the cost.”

Not only did God’s word help me with my decision, but His insight provided a profound teaching point, too.

The Value of a Lessoned Learned

Worth is found in the redemption that comes when you confess the mistake and then learn the better way.

As we have all experienced, the mistakes, failures and wrong turns we make in life are costly in all kinds of ways. Some cost precious time. Others result in the loss of innocence, relationships and, yes, money. Now certainly, in and of themselves the mistakes aren’t worth anything. But the worth is found in the redemption that comes when you confess the mistake and then learn the better way so that you don’t repeat it. It’s the character that’s built, the testimony that’s told and the healing that happens that make the lesson learned worth the cost it took to learn it.

While I pray you never fail nor make a mistake, when you do, be quick to confess it and ask God to help you learn from it. When He turns the old into new … when He converts the bad into something good … when He brings beauty from ashes … well, that’s something precious—it’s something priceless.

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