One thing I have noticed repeatedly is that believers beat themselves up about mistakes they’ve made in evangelism. They think of the opportunities they have overlooked, their inability to answer questions, or their harshness in a response to non-Christians. I always remind them that two things can make mistakes helpful instead of dreadful.
First, thank God for His forgiveness. Remember this relates to more than simply wrong thoughts and actions, a selfish attitude, or rude behavior. It encompasses every mistake we’ve made in evangelism. Witnessing out of grace instead of guilt involves recognizing that whenever we fail in evangelism, God’s forgiveness is abundant.
See your evangelistic failures from a different perspective. Since God has forgiven us, we can forgive ourselves and put those mistakes behind us as we remember that “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
Second, ask yourself, “What have I learned from this mistake that would help me with my next opportunity?” When you ask and answer that question, then every mistake makes you wiser in evangelism. You have not simply made a mistake, you’ve allowed God to use it to grow you.
With these two perspectives in mind, mistakes become a positive instead of a negative experience. After all, God is a God who focuses on the future not the past.