General Principles
  1. I'm not on my own. James 3:2 says: "We all make many mistakes". We're all in the same boat. We all get ourselves into a mess.
  2. It's not necessarily wrong to make a mistake. Mistakes are largely made through ignorance, or inexperience.
  3. Mistakes are bound to happen. How are you going to know if something will work if you don't try! "He who made a mistake tried to do something".
  4. Warning! We have to live with the consequences of our mistakes.
  5. Mistakes are meant to lead to growth in maturity. We're supposed to learn from them. So try not to make the same mistake twice.

How is it different for the Christian?

Making mistakes throws into relief two extraordinary truths about God. If you're a Christian, let the following sink into your minds and hearts. Meditate on them regularly!

1. God is able to prevent us from making certain mistakes, although generally, he allows us to make mistakes. In addition, he allows us to live with a certain degree of error - at least for a time.
The Bible is full of people (God's people) who believed the wrong thing, made wrong decisions, said or did the wrong thing, whether through error, lack of knowledge, or even through sin. Why are we any different?
So God allows us to be and to do wrong, even when we don't see it, and even sometimes without correcting us.
Yet, astonishingly, he continues to show favour to us! We call this the Grace of God. It is underserved, limitless, and free...  though it cost God a lot! (more about this in "Acceptance").

2. God is outside of time and space. He sees everything I've ever done, and everything I ever will do. To Him, it's like all my mistakes, past, present and future, have already happened!!
So our mistakes can't take him by surprise. He never says "Oops" or, "Arghhh. Now what!"
Look up some examples in the Bible (eg. Elijah, David, Peter..) and see how things eventually turned out. We see that God was in the midst of everything, weaving everything together into his great purposes. We call this the Sovereignty of God.
And it's no different for me or you. If we allow him, he can weave even our lives into his great purposes - because he is in supreme control, and nothing is too hard for him to do.

What a relief to those of us who feel that life has got in to a bit of a mess. Maybe things aren't as black as I thought!