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The Privilege of Having a Bad Day


I remember watching this game years ago from the living room of who would eventually be my grandmother-in-law. It’s such a goofy and rarely repeated mistake, that some 19 years later it still illicites groans from Dallas Cowboy fans everywhere.  It’s the really, really, really bad day of Leon Lett in 1993. And of course it follows what was a really stupid mistake that Leon Lett made in the 1992 Super Bowl.

I love this video, because of the ruthless football coach (at the time) Jimmy Johnson telling his player that it was allright for him to have a bad day. What a gift. The ability to have a bad day.

I believe one of the greatest breakthroughs we can have in our relationships, is to give the people we love the most the opportunity to have a bad day.

There are days that the people we love will bark at us, snap with a short fuse at something we say, respond inappropriately, and generally wake up on the wrong side of the bed. The problem isn’t these happenings, we all do these things. The problem is when we repeat these, and these reactions become the norm and not the exceptions in our behavior.

Dare you to try it. Let the people you serve with, live with, and are married too have a bad day. Respond in grace, and give them another chance. See if it doesn’t improve the dynamics of your relationships. Promise, it will.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.