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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Oscar Wilde's Biggest Mistake

Writer Oscar Wilde  once said:
"Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes."

This quote saddens me.
I wonder if Oscar Wilde ever regretted saying it.

I would say that the exact opposite is true:
Most people die, wishing they'd had more common sense so they wouldn't have made colossal mistakes throughout their lifetimes.

I sorely regret the stupid things I've chosen to say and do. And I haven't changed my mind about any of my mistakes.
I still regret them, terribly.
Mistakes hurt you and your loved ones.

Perhaps Oscar Wilde was a hardened individual who reveled in sin.
Perhaps he neither cared for others or himself.

Do you ever look back and wish you'd been more of a fool?

Here's another take on the subject, this quote from Robert Louis Stevenson:
"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both; and I believe they both get paid in the end; but the fools first."

Does this square with you a little more?
Perhaps because we have an innate desire to be rewarded for good choices and actions.
And we'd like to see justice meted out to those who've done the opposite.

Stevenson's quote comes closer to the biblical view: God rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked.

I hope the following verses from the Bible have shaped your way of thinking.

Proverbs 14: 16: "A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hot-headed and reckless."
Proverbs: 14:22: "Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness."
Ephesians 6: 8: ". . . because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free."
Revelation 22:12: "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done."

Perhaps Oscar Wilde's biggest mistake was his rebellion against God. If he remained a hater of God to the end of his days, that may have been the "mistake" he was referring to.

The biggest mistake anyone can make is rejecting Christ's offer of salvation.

I hope no one I love goes to his grave glad he made that mistake.

There is no greater tragedy.


  1. I like Wilde's quote. I'm a person who lives in fear. I'm afraid to do great things because I might make a mistake. I fear mistakes. I live a mediocre existence because of it. I want to live free of that fear. Take risks and sometimes fail. Sometimes blow it, but other times exceed wildly! Mistakes just mean someone tried something great and missed.

    Now, if you're talking about the kind of mistakes that involve sin, then I'm in total agreement with you.

  2. Yes, I agree. There's more than one way to look at this quote. Knowing what I do about Oscar Wilde I'm assuming he was talking about pretty wild living. But I'm a cautious person, too and I have to constantly force myself to take risks.Even if that means making mistakes. Thanks for your comment, Kay. I can relate.