Tattoo lessons

Rihanna has a tattoo that reads, “No failures, just lessons.”  Given that it is her 13th tattoo, I’m gathering the “lesson” in this case was not the lesson I would have impressed upon my girls — namely, “Don’t get tattoos.”  But different strokes …

I love the message, though.  A negative event in your life only becomes a “failure” when you don’t grow from it.  We stand on the ash heap of our errors.  Had we not made them, we would not have learned the lessons we needed to become the people we are today.

Some people, to hear them talk, seem incapable of making mistakes.  I pity such ones.  Me, I don’t seek mistakes beforehand or revel in them afterward.  But I embrace reality.  And the reality is, I have a great deal to learn — less today than 30 years ago, I certainly hope, but a great deal nonetheless.  And I always learn more from my mistakes than from my successes.

Peter learned from his mistakes — and he made plenty.  Most notably, his faith failed him when he needed it most.  Jesus warned him of the failure to come, even giving him instruction to “strengthen your brothers” after he came to his senses (Luke 22:31-34).  He reminded him three times of the same lesson in that marvelous breakfast by the lake after His resurrection (John 21:15-17).  And judging from his service as apostle, and especially as elder (1 Peter 5:1-4), he did in fact learn to tend Jesus’ sheep.

Judas didn’t learn his lessons.  But he’s another story.