How to Rebound

Cody Ray Charland | Nov 3, 2010

This isn’t about basketball. Although I really want to talk about the Tarheels (I’m from Chapel Hill, NC).

This is about the steps you take when you screw up in front of everyone in ministry.

Your first responses after you’ve blown it are critical to reconciliation and restoring harmony. In fact, the first response to a mistake or an intentional wrong-doing determines the direction of your solution and the future of the ministry in which you’re involved. The damage (and its repair) influences the importance of grace within your group. There are great responses that can result from mistakes.

At Fuller, we have intramural sports during the school year. Every Saturday morning during the fall quarter, a sizable chunk of the seminary plays flag football. I help referee these games (trying to utilize my B.A. in Physical Education) and last Saturday blew a call—literally. I accidentally blew my whistle on a play that would have been a touchdown otherwise—an Inadvertent Whistle. Thankfully, I was told before the season that if I ever blow a call (and realize it) I needed to admit it before I try to fix the mess I made.

Many of us fall into the trap of shooting first, then asking questions. Instead, make sure your thoughts and beliefs actually align with your actions. That’s likely the cause of the problems many of us need to apologize for.

Your first response in any situation you’ve screwed up has at least two parts:

  • Recognize your conviction and then confess to those who were affected.

I love that one of the most consistent themes throughout scripture is confession.

  • When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned (Leviticus 5:5)
  • He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy (Proverbs 28:13)
  • For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:10)

The first step to a strong rebound is to admit your weakness.

Cody Ray Charland

Cody Ray Charland is a second year MATM student at Fuller’s Pasadena campus. He holds a BA in Physical Education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. As Project Assistant with the Fuller Youth Institute, he handles social media, and helps with writing, technology, and research. He was formerly a Young Life leader as well as Youth Pastor at Port City Community Church in Wilmington, NC. Cody enjoys the outdoors, all things Tar Heel, and barbecue.


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