The Lessons We Learn

How many times have you vowed to never make the same mistake twice? I’m guessing more than you’d care to remember let alone keep track of. You promise yourself that you have learned your lesson and you will do much better next time when you should find yourself in a similar situation. But, then you follow the same path down the wrong road again with the same results.

You might begin to wonder if this pattern will continue. Well, maybe it will, unless once for all you decide to follow a new path of response. And realize you need help to change.

In my own life I have found that if I do not learn anything from the mistakes I’ve made, God always arranges for me to go though them again and again. I have heard someone mention this before, so I am borrowing from their idea, but have clearly seen this in myself and I suspect this is all too common. We will keep being tested in areas that need work, until we “pass” the tests.

We all have the best intentions, but it seems as if God continues to provide situations to grow us and test our faith. We might believe that we have somehow mastered an area of our lives, only to have it made perfectly clear later that we have in fact NOT mastered it.

My example; I have a tendency to judge a book by its cover, not literally, but metaphorically. See, I grew up in a very homogeneous area in New England. Everyone had similar economic status, looked similar, dressed similar and spoke similar. There were only two extremes; the very rich or the very poor. These two groups of people were easily distinguished from the rest of the citizens by their appearance. The successful, wealthy citizens wore the three piece buttoned down suits, while the poorest wore dirty, ragged clothing.

If someone were to visit we could easily note a different manner of speech and make a mental note that they were not one of “us”. So, in my small isolated view of people I developed the habit of judging by the outside appearances of others.

And although I moved away when I got married and lived all over the world, this habit just remained. I wouldn’t admit it, but it had been such a part of my culture growing up that I hadn’t realized that it was a lesson I really needed.

In the past few years God has been giving me these important lessons on myself, digging deeper into my habits and mindsets that just do not help me, but have hindered my spiritual growth.

I always expected that the well -dressed were successful and wealthy. Those dressed roughly were probably homeless and poor. If someone worked an average to low paying job, they probably were uneducated.

But, as our culture as a whole has changed, the truth is multimillionaires do not always dress in suits, the educated need whatever job they can find to pay student loans, and we might mistake others for not being christian by their tattoos or piercings. What we might have expected from others by the way they appear is not what it is anymore. We can only really get to know someone better by listening to them and asking questions. It is a lesson we all need. – God Bless You – Nancy

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A Christian writer and teacher who loves to encourage and challenge believers in their walk with Christ. I am a graduate of Liberty University and the proud wife of an Air Force veteran and the mom of three grown adults.

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