Learning From Our Mistakes
As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly. Proverbs 26:11 (New International Version, NIV)
It is imperative that we learn from our mistakes. While this verse is a bit graphic, it is so for a reason. When people repeat doing something that they know was a bad idea, it is nauseating to watch because we know the outcome will be as bad as it was the first time. It is a well-known saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. That is essentially what this verse is pointing out.
The Hebrew word for returns is shanah, which means to duplicate, do again, repeat, do the second time. So the idea is that after throwing something up, the dog goes right back and again does the exact thing that caused him to vomit in the first place. Not smart. But how many of us do this same thing?
Maybe you made some relationship decisions in the past that turned out badly, yet you find yourself drawn to that same wrong type of person. Perhaps you ran yourself deep into debt and managed to get out, only to find yourself in the same predicament again. You might have lost weight only to gain it all back and then some. We’ve all done it. We get out of a jam and then somehow end up back in the same place. Later, we look back, shake our heads and say, “What were we thinking?”
Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself in such a place. Just go to God and repent. Then set your mind to not repeat your previous error. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you areas where you have missed it and where you might be vulnerable to do it again. When tempted to go back down that wrong road, gain strength by praying in the Holy Ghost. And get an accountability partner; someone who can help you stay on track.
When we learn from past experience we save ourselves a lot of trouble and hassle. Let’s take action to avoid returning to our folly.