Sadell Bradley

Sadell Bradley

“A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.” – Roy H. Williams, Businessman

Everybody makes mistakes…or so we were told as children. One of my friends would never admit to being wrong. When we would point out a possible error, they would look puzzled and confidently say, “I’m not wrong, you’re just mistaken.” This was a clever, but inaccurate response. It made me think of the sitcom Happy Days’ character Arthur Fonzereli, aka “The Fonz,” who was so averse to being incorrect that he struggled to even say the word wrong. MISTAKE has two meanings: the noun is an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong; something which is not correct; an inaccuracy. The verb mistaken, or mistook, means to be wrong about something or someone. We’ve all made small and large mistakes, and at times we’ve been mistaken.

I visited our Congregational Care Pastor Adam Miller in the hospital one day. He is the most senior male in our congregation. A fatherly spirit is all over him, and he flows in exhortation and kindness. Adam shared that he’d once told one of his children after a devastating loss, “You made a mistake…and it’s OK. I’ve made many mistakes in my life. You just have admit it, get up, and keep it moving.” Albert Einstein said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

If we’ve made a mistake, it means at least we’ve tried. We’ve forayed into uncharted territory. We’ve trusted ourselves or others in new ways. Maybe it worked for a while…then didn’t. Fear of failure binds us. We so desire for things to be perfect, for nothing to go wrong—that we are terrified of losses, of making mistakes. They say, nothing ventured, nothing gainedwe think, nothing ventured, nothing lost either! and become paralyzed/stuck trying to avoid the embarrassment of admitting, “I made a mistake.”

Some of the best ideas began as mistakesMicrowave ovens, velcro, and chocolate chip cookies were all accidents! Two of my favorite Scriptures are Psalm 37:23-24, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD who takes delight in his journey. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the LORD is holding his hand,” (BSB) and Proverbs 24:16, Though a righteous person falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.” (NLT) These passages bring me comfort because they tell me even those who seek to do and be right will make mistakes, but our mistakes can redeemed for a greater purpose as we are given more and more chances. What if God wants to use a mistake not to condemn, but to bless you and launch you into something new?

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Sadell Bradley, Pastor of The Warehouse Church OTR, is a dynamic teacher and worship leader, with over 30 years in ministry in various contexts including: as a conference speaker and trainer, music, worship and arts pastor, providing background vocals for various artists; as a campus missionary, and as a ministry development director.
Sadell’s main desire is to see people saved, healed, delivered and set free by the ministry of Jesus, the Word of God, and presence of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:18)

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