“I have learned from personal experience that putting trust in God means there will be unanswered questions. That was a hard lesson for me because I naturally want to understand everything…to know what’s going on so I feel like I’m in control.” – Joyce Meyer
Failure is a lesson learned. Success is a lesson applied. I don’t know who said this, but it sounds like something my mom, a 27-year elementary teaching veteran, would have told me. A LESSON is an amount of teaching given at one time; a thing learned or experienced by a student; an occurrence, example, or punishment that serves or should serve to warn or encourage; admonish or rebuke. The phrase ‘to teach someone a lesson’ means to punish or hurt someone as a deterrent. The phrase ‘to learn one’s lesson’ means to acquire a greater understanding of the world through a particularly unpleasant or stressful experience. This pandemic; changes to our church, work, and family life; politics; and the Ahmaud Arberry shooting… are all offering up some pretty strong lessons. I wonder what we’ve learned?
I am a huge fan of not learning lessons the hard way. I would much rather glean from the negative experiences of others than have to hit a painful wall myself. Sadly, I don’t always obey the LORD or use wisdom as I should. In the book of Mom Chapter 1:1, it says, “A hard head makes a soft behind!” You’ll get that later. Proverbs 19:25 tells us, “If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded will learn a lesson; if you correct the wise, they will be all the wiser.” Lessons are very valuable to the Believer. Jesus explained to His disciples, “I’m telling you this so that you will have PEACE…” (John 16:33) He had a reason for giving us those instructions. Disobedience, rebellion, poor judgment…all bring inner turmoil. There’s nothing worse than failing a spiritual class and earning a ‘do-over’ for yourself. It’s worse than having to write, “I will learn my lesson,” on a chalkboard 100 times…although chalk screeching is an experience that will definitely cause you to repent.
How do you respond when God is teaching you a lesson through a circumstance or a relationship? with HUMILITY – a modest or low view of your own importance. Apostles Peter and James said, “God
resists/opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6-7; 1Peter 5:5-6) Maybe the stress you’re feeling is God opposing you. The remedies the Apostles offer are to: ‘submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you,’ or to ‘humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you at the proper time.’ That means the quickest way to get back up is to first really get down…as low as you can… repent, turn, and obey. Regret and lessons are real…but so are forgiveness and restoration!