Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
In Part 1, I said there are six important words – probably one of the greatest statements you can make towards another person to help you and that other person. What are the six words?: “I admit I made a mistake”.
And I like what the Bible says in Proverbs 28:13 (TLB), “A person who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if that person confesses and forsakes those mistakes, another chance is given.” In other words, he gets a fresh start.
It is hard to get people to admit when they are wrong. People do not like to admit, I made a mistake, and I blew it. God says that if we admit the mistake, if we admit our failures, and if we admit our sin, then we get another chance in life. Many people blame others for all of their troubles. They make excuses for their problems. And they give up. But we can’t give up. A fresh start is available to us right now.
Proverbs 24:10 (NCV) says, “If you give up when troubles come, it shows that you are weak.” It’s always too soon to quit. The Bible says we need to stop making excuses, admit when it’s our fault and get on with life. There is no success without making mistakes. If you’re not making any mistakes, you’re not growing. You had better just resolve in your heart that you’re going to miss it, mess up, fail, fall, get it wrong.
You are going to make mistakes every week, probably every day. You need to learn that it’s okay to make mistakes; it’s okay to fail, as long as you take that failure and gain wisdom from it. What you want to do is learn from it, because God uses failure to educate us. That means we tend to get out of life what we expect: “According to your faith it will be done to you.”
Act in faith and learn
What are you expecting in life? Are things going to be better or worse? Are they going to be the same? If you act in faith then you will do something positive to ensure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes over. The faith that I am talking about is not a ‘dead-hope’ faith. It is an affirmative faith that takes positive action coupled with the help of God to change your life.
In order to start acting in faith that means you’ve got to stop feeling sorry for yourself. Poor me! I’m such a victim. Life is unfair. Of course life is unfair! Whoever said it was fair? God never said that. This is a world filled with sin and evil and tragedy and because of that, life is unfair. But you have to go on with life anyway. You have to stop rehearsing the past, regretting the past, and you get on with the present and the future. The more time we spend regretting our past, the more of our future is wasted.
What you need to do is learn from those failures. Let me give you the real secret of success. Every successful entrepreneur knows this. Real success is built on failure. Failure is the way you become a success. You figure out what doesn’t work. When Edison figured out on the 200th or so time, what would make a light bulb stay lit, he did that because he knew 199 ways that didn’t work. You never call it a failure in your life. Call it an education. You learn from past failures and mistakes and act in faith for the future.
Focus and trust
The third step is to focus. I need to focus my thoughts if I want to change my life. If I want to get going again, if I want a fresh start, I need to rethink the way that I think. I need to change my mind about a number of issues. Proverbs 4:23 (GNT) says, “Be careful how you think. Your life is shaped by your thoughts.”
Focus your thoughts! The way you think, determines the way you feel. And the way you feel determines the way you act. If you want to change your actions, just change the way you think and it will inevitably change the way you act. St Paul talked about being focused in Romans 12:2, when he said, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If I have to focus my thoughts to start over to get a fresh start, that means I have to stop thinking some old patterns.
The final step in starting over and getting a fresh start in life is to trust in God. Trust God to help us succeed. Depend on him. We can’t depend on ourselves. We’ve already proven that we can’t do it on our own. That’s why we’ve failed. Some people just don’t get it. They stumble and fall and then they get up and say, I’ll just try harder!
It’s like you go up to a wall and bang your head against it and the wall doesn’t fall down. You try it again and bang! Again. You keep doing it thinking, Maybe it will fall over this time. That’s the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting different results. If we keep doing the same thing then we will keep getting the same result. Zechariah 4:6 says, “You will not succeed by your own strength or power but by My Spirit, says the Lord.”
Will you have a fresh start in life? Then stop making excuses:
- Act in faith.
- Focus your life on God.
- And trust in God.
Copyright 2010, Dr. Maynard Pittendreigh
For copies of other sermons, visit www.Pittendreigh.com