Repeating Mistakes? Read Proverbs 4:5-7

“I would bet you are like me. You’ve had your share of problems, disappointments, losses, heartaches, regrets and mistakes. Maybe you have tried to cope with your personal pain by pretending it doesn’t hurt or you put up an emotional wall keeping people and solutions out. Maybe you sought comfort and relief with food, sex, sleep, shopping, busyness, isolation, alcohol, drugs or hurting others. Maybe you ignored the guidance of God, family and friends.

Sadly, I realize those were some of the emotional paths I took. In the past, my inability to cope or my lack of faith led to depression, overspending, high blood pressure, loss of sleep, being so serious and emotionally fragile that I couldn’t laugh, relax, let go or take the hits.

Oh, but thank God for mercy, grace and patience. I learned to let go, trust God more, listen more and not be so hard on myself. I learned how to discipline my appetites, flesh, feelings and faulty thinking. No, wait a minute, let me say… I continue to learn how to discipline myself. It is an on-going process to mature in my faith and in my human imperfections.

When you and I do not grow emotionally and spiritually to cope with the twists and turns of life, we become prone to sickness, anger, depression, addiction, broken relationships, a low self-esteem and repeat the same mistakes.

If you and I are too sensitive to receive feedback and support from others, we lose. If you and I quit every time a job, task or relationship gets difficult, we lose credibility, blessings,opportunities, success and self-esteem. If you and I are not teachable and constantly compare ourselves to others, it is a sign that our self-worth and self-esteem are low. If we think we should be able to control and fix everyone and every situation, we are living with an illusion. If we cannot listen to the whispers of God guiding us the right way…then we will suffer as life begins to scream and yell, “You fool…you are not listening to wisdom.”

Every day I challenge myself to stop, look and listen. Today I challenge you with tenderness mixed with toughness to grow emotionally and spiritually. When you are faced with a problem or at a crossroad will you…

. Make excuses

. Make mistakes

. Make and keep commitments

. Be mad

. Be miserable, depressed and act like a victim

. Seek wisdom and wise counsel

. Take responsibility for your choices

. Be motivated to take positive steps

. Love God, listen to God, let go and trust God

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