Ever watched someone make and repeat the same mistake, over and over again?
A college quarterback continues to press the ball into tight zone coverage, and as a result, the ball is intercepted on each possession. A trumpet player in the brass section keeps hitting the “wrong” note. The leading actor in the Winter Drama continues to forget the same line in rehearsal. The same student neglects to get all of his projects done, on time, each day. Each time you see it happen you cringe and wonder how someone, anyone, can keep making the same mistake.
One of the most graphic and illustrative verses in the wisdom book of Proverbs shows the foolishness of repeating the same mistake over and over again. It is one of those verses that is often overlooked. But we do well to be reminded of it. It is found in Proverbs 26, which is an entire chapter that instructs us to apply wisdom and avoid foolishness. Not enough time to read and cite it all here in this blog, but I do encourage you to get into the chapter. Here is v.11, and it is vivid: “Dogs return to eat their vomit, just as fools repeat their foolishness.” Wow! Could it be any more direct than that?
I believe most people are disgusted by watching a dog do this. We should be. It’s revolting. But according to Proverbs, so are the times and occasions when we keep repeating the same foolishness. Ponder this: God does not expect us to live a mistake-free life. In fact, He knows that we make mistakes. But His desire is that we learn from them, and not repeat or return to them.
Think about the last time you really blew it. I am thinking of that time right now. Did you, did I, learn from it? Did you go back and make the same error again? What do you believe God was teaching you through it?
God desires that we grow and mature in our faith. He has provided His Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. His grace is sufficient. His love is supreme. So with all of this lavishly given and provided to us, He will allow us to make the decision: Do we learn from our mistakes and from our bad decisions, and move on? Or, do we just keep repeating them over and over again, like a dog does as mentioned in Proverbs 26:11?
Pray this with me right now: Father God, I know I have made many mistakes. I have made bad decisions. I confess that I have even been foolish. Help me learn from these occasions and see them when they occur for what they are. Allow me to be open to Your instruction, correction, and teaching so that I would be a more effective disciple and worker for You Lord. In Jesus’ mighty Name. Amen!
Blessings and joy…