What To Do When Something Goes Wrong

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 3:19

You know you’re a fundraiser in the nonprofit sector when you call someone who passed away. I’ve done that. You know you’re in operations when you delete an important part of the software/process/report that seems unimportant and ends up being very important. I’ve done that. You know when you’re in accounting when you assume you’ll get to run that report and it will be clean, only to find that time slipped away, it’s the end of the month, and that report is looking wonkier than you can sort out. I’ve done that. You know you’re running a client-based program when you forgot an important step in the intake process—that form that allows the nonprofit to get paid. I’ve done that. You know you’re in administration when you plan that board meeting and then forget a board member in the email that has the board reports and required reading. I’ve done that.

There are those mistakes and plenty more mistakes every nonprofit professional make during their career. What some professionals forget is the confession and repentance phase of the mistake.

So, what is the difference between confession and repentance? Stormie Omartian in The Power of a Praying Woman helped me understand the difference. “Confession means we recognize we have done wrong and admit our sin. Repentance means we are sorry about our sin to the point of grief, and we have turned and walked away from it.” In every mistake, there’s room to recognize the wrong and change our direction so it doesn’t happen next time. That starts with finding the person most impacted and confessing, with repentance to back up your new behaviors. It’s telling someone so that the wrong can be righted.

Perhaps, like me, you find confession and repentance as the hardest part. I used to say, “the lower the lows, the higher the highs.” In other words, if confession and repentance is the hardest step, then it also results in the best step.

You’ll be able to look forward to “times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” That motivates me to get through the low part so that I can experience the high part. I hope it does for you, too.

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Order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles.

Omartian, S. (2002). The power of a praying woman. Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, OR.

Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

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