Sunday, October 11, 2015

Learning From Your Mistakes

I once stayed in a motel that had a very high star rating in the book published by the motel chain. After I checked in, I realized I had made a huge mistake. The place was on a bad side of town and was filthy. The room had an odor and a bug crawled on the floor. Dirty towels were piled up hallway, which no one picked up for hours.

After my trip I decided to write a nice letter the national hotel office and told them I had always stayed in their motels because we trusted their star system. I requested they lower their rating in their guide to a one-star on this particular motel to honestly reflect its quality so other customers would know what to expect.

A few weeks later I received a letter from the national office thanking me for my comments and offered me a free night’s lodging—in the same motel! Did they read my letter? Were they trying to reward me or punish me?

Some people keep repeating the same mistakes because they haven’t learned from them. Proverbs 26:11 says, “Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.” Even though the dog got sick by whatever it ate, it goes back and recycles it. It’s even worse than the original meal that made it sick!

We’ve all made mistakes, but our worst mistakes can be our best teachers if we will learn from them. Don’t keep beating yourself up over the mistakes you’ve made, but learn from them. You can share your bad experiences with others to keep them from making the same mistake—like “don’t stay at that filthy motel.”
NOTE: I’ve been sporadic lately about sending out these devotionals because I’ve been busy writing a new book If God Knows My Needs, Why Should I Pray? It will be published by Hendrickson Publishers in May 2016.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174