WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Imagine this scenario: While playing with his friends, Tim throws a ball that crashes through a neighbor’s window.
If you were Tim, what would you do?
STOP AND THINK!
YOU HAVE THREE OPTIONS:
Blame someone else.
Tell the neighbor what happened, and offer to pay for the damages.
You could be tempted to select Option A. But there are always good reasons for you to admit your mistakes—whether they involve a broken window or anything else.
THREE REASONS TO ADMIT YOUR MISTAKES
It’s the right thing to do.
The Bible says: “We wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things.”—Hebrews 13:18.
People are more likely to forgive those who admit their mistakes.
The Bible says: “The one covering over his transgressions will not succeed, but whoever confesses and abandons them will be shown mercy.”—Proverbs 28:13.
Most important, it pleases God.
The Bible says: “Jehovah detests a devious person, but His close friendship is with the upright.”—Proverbs 3:32.
Karina, 20, tried to keep a speeding ticket a secret from her dad. But she couldn’t keep it hidden forever. “About a year later,” Karina says, “my dad noticed a speeding ticket under my name. I got into so much trouble!”
Lesson learned? Karina says: “Keeping mistakes a secret only makes things worse. You still pay for them later on!”
HOW TO LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES
The Bible says: “We all make mistakes many times.” (James 3:2, footnote) And as we have seen, it is a sign of humility and maturity to admit your mistakes—and to do so right away.
The next step is to learn from your mistakes. A girl named Vera says: “I try to view each mistake as a learning experience and let it be a lesson that will help me to be a better person and handle the situation differently the next time.” Let’s see how you can do that.
You borrow your father’s bike and damage it. What would you do next?
Say nothing and hope your dad doesn’t notice.
Tell your dad exactly what happened.
Tell your dad what happened but blame someone else.
You fail a test because you did not study for it. What would you do next?
Blame the test.
Accept responsibility for your failing grade.
Claim that the teacher has something against you.
Now look back at the preceding scenarios, and try to imagine that you are (1) your dad and (2) your teacher. What would your dad and your teacher think of you if you readily admitted your mistakes? What would they think of you if you covered up your mistakes?
Now think about a mistake that you made during the past year and answer the following questions.
What was the mistake? How did you handle that mistake?
I covered it up.
I blamed someone else for it.
I readily admitted it.
If you didn’t admit your mistake, how did you feel afterward?
Great—I got away with it!
Guilty—I should have told the truth.
How could you have handled the situation better?
What did you learn from your mistake?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Why do some people hold back from admitting their mistakes?
What will people think of you if you always try to cover up your mistakes, but what will they think of you if you admit your mistakes?—Luke 16:10.