Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Learn from Your Mistakes

By Dr. James MacDonald

"Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure." Proverbs 4:26

"The prudent gives thought to his steps. One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless." Proverbs 14:15-16

When I make an honest mistake, I don't get too mad at myself, but when I make that same mistake again...that's another story. I know better than that! What's my problem?!

It's not foolish to make a mistake. James 3:2 says we all fall in many ways. But foolish describes the person who falls in the same way over and over. A common Hebrew word translated "fool" says this person never learns. Repetitive foolish decisions are their long-standing pattern.

A foolish person has careless feet-they don't think through the consequences of their actions. They never fear until they fall. As they walk near a cliff they never sense, " Whoa, this is a little dangerous; I should be careful ." They don't consider what will happen if they take another step or wonder if they'll be able to put the pieces of their lives back together again. Only when they're broken at the bottom of the cliff do they start thinking about how to fix their situation.

What's more, let a little time go by and they're back at the cliff again. They don't remember, " The last time I came over here, I got hurt ." Instead they walk back into the same situation again.

How about you? Are you learning from past mistakes or do you find yourself in painful repeats? How many times have you realized:

* If I work too many hours and neglect my family, it leads to breakdown and heartache?
* If I run my credit cards up to the limit, it produces more pain than doing without what I thought I had to have?
* If I don't get into God's Word and take care of my soul, my life unravels really fast?

I commend to you a verse that God has used in my life. It is Proverbs 4:26, " Ponder the path of your feet ." Think about where this road is taking you. If you go three more steps in this same direction, are you going to like where you'll end up? The foolish never think about that. The wise always do.

Let every choice you make, every place you go, every relationship that you nourish and develop be an intentional pursuit of God's best and what is good for you and for those you love. That's wisdom.


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