We’ve all had those embarrassing moments when you did something you wish you could take back. Those situations when you want to disappear but you can’t. What was it for you? For me, it was a moment I will never forget…
I was 17 years old and driving home alone from a friend’s house. I passed by a car dealership and decided to stop and look at some new cars. I had no intention of buying but thought it would be fun to look. As I got out of my car, I was immediately approached by a salesman offering his help. We talked about various cars and in his efforts to get me to commit, he asked if I wanted to take one for a test drive. Feeling a bit of pressure, I agreed. Now, this isn’t so bad except for the fact that it was a stick shift and I had never driven one before. But feeling embarrassed and not wanting to appear “less than capable”, I got in the driver’s seat and he got in the passenger seat and off we went.
It wasn’t a pretty ride, jerking back and forth, as I was trying to figure out how to use a clutch. At almost every stop, I burned rubber taking off. The salesman was giving me those looks and asking me if I was okay. Of course, there was nothing okay about this whole event, but I acted like I was fine. As we rounded the final turn, I could see the dealership. I was almost to the finish line! But what I didn’t see was the car in front of me decided to stop. Yes, that’s right he stopped and I didn’t. I crashed this brand new car into the back of his car only 20 feet from the entrance of the dealership for all the salesmen and customers to see. It was the test drive from hell and certainly one of my most embarrassing moments!
So why do I share this? Well, first of all, let me say that I hesitated writing this blog post out of embarrassment. I mean, why would I want to publically share an experience I wish never happened? It makes no sense…. right? Well, there are two reasons I wanted to share this with you…
1. Embarrassment Exposes Pride
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
The reason we even have an “embarrassing” moment (i.e., a fall) is that we don’t want to appear weak, stupid, or out of control. If we didn’t care, then it would not be embarrassing. In fact, you may hear my embarrassing moment and think it isn’t embarrassing at all or vice versa. This is because it hasn’t hit an area of pride. You will only feel embarrassed when an area of pride is exposed. I wanted to appear like a legitimate customer who could buy a new car, which I wasn’t. As a result, I kept digging a deeper and deeper hole, rather than simply admit to the salesman, “I’m just looking” or “I don’t know how to drive a stick shift”. This is how pride works! It likes to cover up and hide. When our pride is exposed it is embarrassing. When it is really exposed, it is really embarrassing. That is why I can remember this event that took place 40 years ago like it was yesterday!
2. Embarrassment Brings Growth
1 Peter 5:5-6 – All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Even though my embarrassing moment was a test drive from hell, I was humbled and learned a lot about being honest, upfront, and transparent. I learned that it was all in my head and the salesman could care less that I couldn’t drive a stick shift. I learned how pride and cover up will only make matters worse. I learned that I need to find my security in the Lord and not what people think about me.
In other words, there are a lot of lessons that can be learned from an embarrassing moment. They can actually help you mature and grow as long as you’re willing to reflect, examine, and pray about it. In fact, a key indicator of growth is being able to talk about an embarrassing moment, laugh about it, and share what you’ve learned. If you are still in the cover up and forget about it mode, there is probably some growth still waiting to happen.
So there you have it, my most embarrassing moment. What is it for you? Do you have the guts to share your most embarrassing moment? Maybe this can be your growth step!
If so, please click here to comment, sharing your most embarrassing moment and what you have learned.