Are You Willing To Give A Second Chance?

People screw up all the time. They’ll make a wrong choice. Do the wrong thing. Even slack off at work.

These poor decisions can infuriate leaders. To the point of wanting to give someone their pink slip.

But have you taken a step back to consider giving someone a second chance?

Father Gregory Brooks has. He’s the founder of Homeboy Industries.

Homeboy Industries has a mission to help felons recover and move onto meaningful employment. They also do gang-intervention programs that help people who have made bad choices move onto better lives.

Through Homeboy Industries, Father Brooks works with those who many others wouldn’t think about giving a second chance. They’ve done their crime, the felons should be on their own.

Instead, Brooks takes them in and gives them a second, and in some cases, more chances.

What Happens When You Give Someone A Second Chance?

Did you read the first line of this post and nod your head, agreeing that everyone screws up? I hope you did. I hope you also realized you’re a person and there will come a time when you screw up.

It may not be as bad as others but you will slip up and something will go wrong.

That’s why we must give second chances. We’re seconds away from needing one of our own.

But what happens when we give someone a second chance? Is it a wasted opportunity or will change happen?

The outcome is one we won’t know until we take the chance to give someone a second chance.

This chance outcome doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be willing to help someone out. To help restore them. To give them hope.

Something special happens when we offer second chances to others:

You give hope: Too many people have been tossed out after their first mistake. They’ve lost their job, their marriage, or a friendship.

Despair begins to set in and hope drifts away.

You, the bearer of the second chance, offers a glimmer of hope. The possibility they’re worth more than what others have said.

Extend a second chance to give hope.

You show compassion: You can’t make it through life without a miss-step or two. We all make bad decisions.

When someone screws up, we can offer compassion to the person by offering the second chance. We can also offer guidance and share our personal stories of previous failures.

Become empathetic and show them you know where they’ve been. You’ve been in a similar situation before.

You encourage yourself: Being unselfish and helping someone in need can bring encouragement to you. Just the act of helping others can produce happiness and joy.

There’s something special about helping others. Don’t neglect this when giving someone a second chance.

Question: How have you given someone a second chance? How did it change your life? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Mike

    Gregory Boyle, author of Tattoos on the Heart.

    • Thanks for sharing that book Mike. I’ll check it out.

  • Pioneer Outfitters

    We all need second chances. Even folks that some may say “No-way” ~ Mistakes of any level need to be allowed to be put away, and move on from. These are experiences too, right? These are valuable lessons to be shared, and who better to help someone else stay on the right Path, than someone who knows, beyond all doubt, what lays down that trail…?

    ~ I know this is a little off topic, but I am searching for my ONE WORD to focus on, in 2014… and each time I evaluate everything ~ Good and HORRIBLE of 2013 the one word I keep coming up with is Love. Everything about 2013 was in fact, rooted in Love. Either the action itself, or the reactions to all the blessings disguised as disasters…each choice, all the growth and lessons learned, all Love.

    How can I deny ANYONE a second chance, if they would like one? I cannot. I will not. We all need that, a second chance and some of us (me, me, me) needs a LOT of second chances. The absolute most perfect gift of 2013 was the result of numerous second chances, of Love. Love for humanity, for the world, for our Father in heaven, even for myself.

    • While off topic, the one word thing is something I’ve heard a lot about recently. So thanks for bringing it up. And your one word fits perfectly with second chances. The more we love, the more we’re willing to give that second and third and fourth chance.

      • Pioneer Outfitters

        Joe!! I chose!
        Love was my One Word for 2013, but my mind boggle has been choosing the One Word (on purpose, instead of looking back) for 2014…. (ready??) FEARLESS!
        I will be Fearless. In getting out of my comfort zone, writing, exploring new ideas for business… Fearless about how I have been brought into the light of Jesus Love… Fearless about sharing this, and all the changes it has wrought in my own and our lives. Fearless, to meet what comes next with a smile, love in my heart and the strength that comes from Him, in my heart and in my actions.
        I will be Fearless in giving second chances (or thirds or fifths), knowing that sometimes, it really is that one more chance that makes all the difference.

  • Joe,

    You write about chance outcome and I think it’s really important we don’t make a judgement call if the first outcome doesn’t work out the way we intended.

    I hired an ex-felon about 15 years ago and for the first five or six months, all was good. Unfortunately, he reverted back to his old ways and I had to let him go. My very next hire was also someone with a criminal record (came out during the interview) and I really struggled with my decision. He was the best candidate, but did I want to take another chance?

    Let me tell you, I raised a lot of eyebrows with my decision to hire him, but I can still say this today – he was one of my best hires.

    • Bill, that’s awesome you were willing to give another ex-felon a chance even after the first one you hired messed up. We can’t slap a label on everyone who’s done something wrong and keep them there.

  • Parenting is a great place to give second chances. My kids (like me) screw up all the time. (They are great kids though!) They need both truth and grace in their lives. My wife and I have the opportunity to show this to them.

    • Excellent example Jon. Kids rarely succeed the first time and need the encouragement to try again.

  • Showing grace and forgiveness is what God calls us to do. Matthew 6 says, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Showing grace always is rewarded by the Father. Great post and thoughts!

    • Thanks for pulling out the scripture Dan!

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