Our family has had a theme this school year about how there isn’t much in life that can’t be fixed … so while we should always try and do our best, we don’t need to worry because whatever mistake happens, there is usually a way to fix it.
I didn’t grow up with that mindset, not by any fault of my upbringing either. I used to have a perfectionist view of life and as a result, when I made mistakes, I didn’t see them as growth opportunities, I saw them as failures.
God has been working on healing me from that for the past five years. I find that as I change that opinion about myself (“there isn’t much in life, Cheri, that can’t be fixed … so when you make a mistake, it’s an opportunity for growth and to try again), I’m also extending more grace to others.
And it’s not just the people who are making the mistakes that I have grace for; it’s also for those who are hard on the people making mistakes.
For instance, I had to run out to the store quickly today and stopped to grab some food for one of my kids. While waiting in line to order, the manager was reaming out an employee (in front of all us customers) for overcharging a previous customer $1.79. She proceeded to complain about how it was holding up the line (there was only one person in line – ME – and I wasn’t acting impatient), how she isn’t to use two coupons in the same transaction and how she needed to go serve some food instead of just standing around waiting for her to finish fixing the problem.
The employee apologized to the manager for the mistake before the reaming out began, and looked embarrassed during the outburst. I felt sorry for not only the employee (who was honestly apologetic for the mistake) and also for the manager (who may not have been given an example of grace to extend to others).
While the lesson our family is learning this school year is about recovering from mistakes we make and how there isn’t anything so bad it can’t be fixed, I think it also extends into helping others recover from mistakes they make. The same grace we’re learning to show ourselves, we’re also learning to extend to others.
To me, that’s a lesson well learned.
© Cheri Swalwell 2020