Tag Archives: mistakes

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I want to encourage you today, with the words Wayne Cordeiro in his book "Attitudes that Attract Success"
One way to cultivate staying power is to change your definition of an event or circumstance. After all, the way in which you define your circumstances will determine, to a large degree, how you will respond to that event.
Consider it all joy, and watch your faith grow.
I lived in Eugene, Oregon, for many years. Eugene is known for, among other things, frequent gray skies and rain. Being from Hawaii, the absence of the sun's warm rays on my body took a toll on me, especially during the winter. Believe it or not, I actually resorted to buying a sunlamp one year when I felt I was about to die from a lack of solar exposure!
I remember walking to a coffee shop with a friend one November morning when it began to rain. Not looking forward to another rainy day, I complained, "Rain again! I wish it would quit.!"
My friend's response surprised me. "Hooray!" he cheered exuberantly. "Rain, I love it!"
"Why in the world are you celebrating this horrible weather?"
"Because that means it's snowing in the mountains. Ski season has begun!"
My friend was an avid skier. He had defined "rain" as heralding the beginning of a great ski season. I, on the other hand, had defined it as cause for another day of depression and sunlamp therapy. Between each event and your attitude concerning that event lies your definition of that event.

Consider [define] it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (Jas. 1:2).

James instructs us to define our events carefully because how we see our circumstances will affect our attitudes and actions. Not only does James tell us to define them carefully, but he also tells us to define it all as joy! Not just the good times but all of our circumstances, including trials, are to be defined as cause for joy. 

How can we possibly do that? Read on, as James continues:

Consider [define] it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking of nothing (Jas. 1:2-4).

We get to define it all as joy, even our trials, when we know the positive outcome any event can have on our lives - deepening our faith, producing endurance and making us complete and lacking nothing. Wow! Now that's powerful promise!
Change your definition, considering it all joy, and watch your faith grow, your endurance increase and your life become complete. You'll lack for nothing, simply because you've chosen to define things the way God defines them. 

Get rid of any "loser's limps" you're still carrying from your yesterdays. As you do, you'll break the power of the past's domination of your present and its influence over your future.
In Luke 9:62, Jesus said, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." If we are not careful, we will allow the past to hold us. The more we look backward, the less we are able to look forward. The past is not the only determining factor of what God can do for us today.
That is the beauty of the Christian life. Even when we fail, we can ask for forgiveness and be totally cleansed of and released from our past actions. Whatever hold the past may have on us can be broken. It is never God who holds us back. We hold ourselves back by allowing the past to keep us from living to the fullest in the present and future. Failure is waiting around the corner for those who live off of yesterday's successes and failures. We should choose to be forward-focused, not past-possessed. We should learn to profit from the past and to invest in the future.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The key here is "forgetting those which are behind" in order to reach for "the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." To fulfill our calling in Christ, we must first forget that which lies behind us. The most common stronghold in peoples' lives is probably their past failures and mistakes. Today is the day to shake off the shackles of the past and to move forward.
The past is past; it has no life.

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Have you ever noticed there are people you know who are literally at the same place today as they were five years ago? They still have the same dreams, the same problems; the same alibis, the same opportunities, and the same way of thinking. They are standing still in life. It's like their watch stopped five years ago, and so did they. God's will for us is to grow, to continue to learn and improve. The biggest room in our house is always the room for self-improvement.
A famous saying reads: "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." I must admit that I am somewhat of a fanatic about this. I hate to have idle time - time in which I am not learning anything. Those around me know that I must always have something to read or to write during any idle moment that might arise. In fact, I try to learn from everyone. From one I may learn what not to do, while from another, I learn what to do. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself. You can learn more from a wise man when he is wrong than a fool who is right.
Goethe said, "Everybody wants to be; nobody wants to grow." I agree with Van Crouch: "You will never change your actions until you change your mind." An important way to keep growing is to never stop asking questions. The person who is afraid of asking is ashamed of learning. Only hungry minds can grow.
We should learn as if we will live forever and live as if we are going to die tomorrow. Harvey Ullman said, "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether this happens at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps on learning not only remains young, but becomes consistently more valuable regardless of physical capacity." Timothy is instructed: "Study to show thyself approved unto God..." (2 Timothy 2:15). It's fun to keep learning. Learning brings approval to your life.
Learn from others. Learn to see in the challenges of others the ills you should avoid. Experience is a present instructor that keeps us from repeating the past in the future. Life teaches us by giving us new problems before we solve the old ones. Think education is expensive or difficult? Listen to Derek Bok: "If you think education isexpensive - try ignorance."

(From John L. Mason's "An Enemy Called Average")