Monday, January 03, 2011

New Year and Lessons from Life

A new year.... new thoughts ..... new life.

As I pass from a very difficult year, I am praying for new ways to share my thoughts and the new life Christ has given me.

Since my mother passed away recently, I thought about calling my new series "lessons learned from my mother." However, I realized that many of my lessons on life were not learned from my mother, I learned them the hard way. I thought about calling it "letters to my children," but my children have heard enough from me to last a lifetime. So, I will call them Lessons from Life.

While teaching our Bible study class yesterday, we talked about the different ways people learn - by reading, by observing, by failure, by pain, by mentoring or being mentored. I have been fortunate enough to learn all of those ways.

The pivotal concept is LEARNING. To learn I have to be teachable. Am I teachable? Sometimes more than others. I tend to be a bulldog when I set my teeth into finding a solution to a problem. I don't give up. To the distress of my family members, I often want them to learn the same lessons with me .... whether they want to or not.

To be teachable, I have to admit I am wrong or that I have made a mistake or that I don't know something.

Have you ever seen someone that thinks that they know something about everything? Or someone that will never admit that they are wrong? Or someone who won't take responsibility for their mistakes? I have been all of those people at some time.

As soon as the first sin happened in the garden an unhealthy pattern of living began. In Genesis 3:11-12, we see God inquiring about what was going on, much as a parent would to their children.

And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Adam started the blame game. He blamed Eve and he blamed God for giving Eve to him. We all play that game at times. But when I blame others for what happened, I am not admitting that I did anything wrong. If I am blaming others, how teachable am I? None, not at all, nil. Not a healthy way to live, you won't win friends or influence people with that attitude.

My first Lesson from Life - admit when I am wrong or don't know or have messed up. Take responsibility. All humans make mistakes. No human knows everything. I am part of the human race and will act like other human beings often.

Unlike the human part of me, I have a supernatural part which can transcend these mistakes and be renewed and restored. I can learn and grow in my faith and in my practice.

Bottom line - it's okay to make mistakes. Now learn and grow.