If At First You Don't Succeed
- 2002 10 Oct
"Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God." (Psalm 69:1-3)
The Psalmist was no stranger to pain and failure. Take note of his mounting problems in the scripture lesson for today: water up to his neck, no foothold to be found in the miry depths, flood waters all around, no help in sight. Can you relate? Of course you can! We all have been in this spot-where it seems like the world is caving in on us and there is no way out.
Don't give up hope. Our God has a way of turning our mistakes and failures around and making them into a source of learning. It is important for our children to learn that their mistakes are not the end of the world. Here are some practical hints to help make the way a bit easier:
* Identify with them and share their pain. It is amazing what we can learn from our children when we recall incidents we have faced and then relate those to our kids. Doing this will make our childhood come to life for them and give you a level playing field to discuss issues.
* Help them keep their failure in perspective. Life is filled with failures. We can either run from failure or face it and mature. Teach, by your example, how to grow and mature in the hard-knock moments of life.
* Be willing to admit your own mistakes and grow with them. Honesty is the best policy...period. If you fail, admit it. Learn from it. Grow with your family.
* Teach them that forgiveness doesn't eliminate pain, but gives hope. When we focus on looking beyond the pain of failure, then we have hope. If we truly forgive ourselves and others, then we can not only have hope, but we can give hope.
* Focus on what happens next. John Maxwell says, "Our dreams need to be bigger than our memories." Most of us spend a lot of time focusing on the past and all the "stuff" we can't change. To succeed, we must look forward.