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 break for a couple of weeks, my friend and I separately came to the same conclusion: We were in way over our heads. With this, I hired a professional.
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 Lesson Learned
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 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.
Kyle Winkler (www.kylewinkler.org) is the creator of the popular Shut Up, Devil! mobile app. His latest book is Activating the Power of God's Word: 16 Strategic Declarations to Transform Your Life. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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