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Friday, April 29, 2016

Don't make your own mistakes

"A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether." (Roy H. Williams)  Are you smart, or wise?  According to Mr. Williams, we are wise if we learn from the mistakes of others!  I don't think he is far off in his statement.  Some of us are content making our own mistakes, essentially learning "the hard way".  I don't know about you, but it stands to reason if I can learn from YOUR mistake, I am much better off!

Words spoken wisely result in much good, and working with your hands pays a large reward.  Fools follow their own directions and think they are right, but wise people listen intently to advice.  (Proverbs 12:14-15 VOICE)

Not all of us are "content" to learn from what others have experienced, lived through, and perhaps "survived".  We just have to go and do it ourselves, believing the outcome will somehow be different just because we are the ones doing it.  Spoiler alert:  Most of the mistakes we will make in this lifetime have already been made by someone before us who thought the exact same way! I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but scripture is clear when it says there is nothing new under the sun!

Intent listening is often all we need to realize we don't need to travel down some path we might have been considering.  What is probably closer to reality is that we "hear" someone giving us the wisdom we need to avoid some of those hazards in our way, but we just don't act upon it.  For whatever reason, we just pursue the path in front of us rather than really "hearing" what awaits us if we do.  The process of hearing includes yielding to advice and direction which would help us avoid those hazards in the first place!

Two things to consider as we think about the "advice" we receive in life - the source of the advice and the point of comparison we use in evaluating the "worth" of the advice.  The source of the advice is important because not all sources are trustworthy.  We might find someone who sounds pretty intelligent by what they say, but when we begin to truthfully look into their "wisdom", we might just find some "shakiness" in their methods.  This is why it is important to keep in mind an accurate "measuring tool" by which we might evaluate the "soundness" of the advice we receive.

Scripture should be our first "measuring tool", but we also have the "check" of the Holy Spirit in our lives which may not be a "formal" as written words in a book, but is accurate nonetheless.  When we just don't get the right "feel", something is just slightly "off" with the advice we are hearing, it may be the Spirit of God within giving us that little "niggling" something just isn't right for us in that pursuit.  Scripture helps us have standards by which to "judge" or "measure" our steps.  The Holy Spirit within gives us that little "in the moment" check which we need to learn to hear and heed!  Just sayin!