< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Stay Alive All Your Life - Part 6

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stay Alive All Your Life - Part 6

Chapter 8 – Learn from your mistakes and make fewer.

Over a period of time you make a series of decisions, seemingly with little consequence. But the total of these decisions finally determine the outcome of your life. So, you want to make more right decisions than wrong!

Everyone makes mistakes, but we can’t let it defeat us. We need to figure out what we did wrong and learn from it. And then move on. Plan on doing better the next time.

Dr. Peale says one way we can make better decisions is to read the Bible and pray. Learn the art of spiritual meditation. Subject every question to spiritual testing and make no decisions that do not jibe with the best ethical insight. Always fill your mind with rightness, seeking to know God’s guidance.

He says we can ask ourselves these questions:

1. Is it ethically right?
2. Is it fair to all concerned?
3. Is the decision based not upon who is right, but what is right?
4. Will it do the most for the most?

Dr. Peale also says there is a right and wrong way to live. That living is a science based on definite laws. If you do not cooperate with its laws, life goes badly. When you learn those laws and live with them your life will be wonderful.

He suggests spending 15 minutes a day applying selected spiritual thought to everything in your life that’s not going well. By selected thoughts he means everything you know about prayer, about faith and about God. Start to see your mistakes and faults and modify your attitude. People who habitually think about their daily problems according to God’s laws will in time develop something of God’s skill in solving those problems. Think God’s way and let Him give you His greatest blessings.

He says there’s no such thing as coincidences. They are orderly laws in the spiritual life of man and we should become spiritually sensitized to them.

He also said when we’ve got a problem and a decision to make; talk to God like you’re having an actual conversation. Not “Please God give me guidance” but “I have this choice to make and on the one hand I want to do “this” because…” And indicate your willingness to faithfully follow whatever insight impresses itself favorably upon your mind.

And don’t force a decision prematurely.

So to sum up this chapter: A mistake isn’t the end. Examine it and learn from it so you don’t make the same mistake twice and don’t hang on to past mistakes. Pray and seek guidance. Keep studying, keep trying and always believe you can learn to do better. Always seek self-improvement.

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