What to Do When You Feel Like an Idiot, Mom

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Moms, do you want a successful model for managing your mistakes? God offers a foolproof one that leads to self-forgiveness and happiness.

Oops. You did it again.

You know, that thing that makes you feel like if anyone found out, they’d instantly call you an idiot.

The thing that always makes you call yourself an idiot.

A nincompoop. A ninny. A numbskull. You get it.

Perhaps you attach the term “lazy” to whatever you did. That’s right, moralize it. That’s us Christians do to everything…..from food to parenting strategies.  Or they could just be good ol’ fashioned mistakes. Things you did that you just never intended to do.

Everyone makes mistakes. Even Britney Spears sang about that long before she was so publicly doing so.

But you did it…..again. Why?

What do you do now? You're a mom for Pete’s sake. Aren’t you supposed to be setting a good example?
Why yes, yes you are.
You’re supposed to set a good example….. of how to handle a mistake.

Here are some choices. The first three represent what the world tells us is acceptable.

1. Pretend it never happened. After all, if no one else saw it, did it really happen? If it really didn’t hurt anyone, it’s ok to try and forgedaboudit.

2. Shift the responsibility on someone else. Someone made you do it, right? They drove you to the point that you just had to do it. If they wouldn’t have done that other thing, certainly you would never have….I mean the government does this, why shouldn’t we?

3. Make up 10 (or however many it takes) excuses that rationalize why you did it. It was too early. It was too late. I was tired. I was too hyper. I was hungry. I was overwhelmed. I was bored. I was anxious. I was sad. I really had no choice, no one else was going to do it. If those excuses fail, just apply number 2 and make excuses starting with the words “you”, “he” or “she”.
All of these will simply keep you in a state of feeling like an idiot. They will only help perpetuate the ninniness and numbskullness you feel on a regular basis. Why should you try to be better? You will only become a nincompoop? That’s the trap of 1-3….

They won’t make you feel smart, in control or proactive.

Let’s look at a model of dealing with mistakes that God tells us leads to happiness: 

1. Confession of Our Sins: This involves an examination of conscience. That’s right. Looking at those mistakes and staring them in the face long enough to help us understand how they happened. It is easy? No way. Is it worth it? Beyond measure. 

I John 1:8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (NRSV)

2. Receiving Forgiveness: God’s forgiveness is free and easy, even when our sin is hard to examine and makes us feel stupid. He promises us infinite forgiveness for everything, over and over. It’s ours for the taking. 

I John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

3. Living Out Penance: A penitent heart is a healthy, happy heart. It’s one that wishes to be better than it was yesterday. What mom can’t relate to that? We all need to seek a penitent heart.

Here’s a little prayer to get us started: 

“Lord. I feel stupid. I hate it when I feel this way.

I ask for your blessed reassurance that I will never be reduced to these feelings of inadequacy through Your eyes.

Thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus to die for everything I’ve done, and will do…..even the stupid stuff.

Amen.”

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