One of my favorite stories in the Bible is found in I Samuel 30:6, “David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved.” This speaks of when David and his men came back from war to find the enemy had invaded their camp. The enemy had stolen all of their stuff including their wives and children.
Now I understand that these men were upset, but let’s think about it for just a minute. David had more reason to be upset than anyone. Since he was king, he had more stuff than anyone else. He not only had more stuff, but he also had more wives and more children. Although everyone suffered big losses, David suffered the greatest loss. But rather than sitting back and feeling sorry for himself, verse six continues, “but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” I love that verse.
I want you to realize something, when you make a mistake and repent, you need to encourage yourself in the Lord too. Don’t get down on yourself; encourage yourself! If you will model this behavior for your kids, it will teach your kids that when they mess up, they serve a God of a second chance. They will also learn that Mom and Dad are going to give them a second chance because you believe in them. But before they learn this, remember, you must believe in yourself and encourage yourself in the things of the Lord.
In the midst of this process, never quit or give up. When I think about a guy who had reason to give up, I think about Joseph. Considering everything that happened in his life, he certainly has a reason to say, “Man, this doesn’t work.” He shares his dream and the next thing he knows, he is in slavery. But it isn’t long, and he is out of slavery running a household. Then something happens again. He is on top, but the next thing you know, he’s in prison. Joseph hangs in there, and soon he finds himself running the prison. God is able to use Joseph for his God-given purpose because despite all the hardships, Joseph never quits.
The best thing we can instill in our children is to never quit or give up. When things are hard, when situations are not going the way they need to be, we should never quit.
Finally, when we are handling a mistake God’s way, we need to follow the wise saying my mamma taught me, “Don’t make the same mistake twice. There are enough different ones you can make every time.” It is so important that we learn from our mistakes. To me, a dumb person is not a person that makes mistakes; it’s a person that makes the same mistake again and again.
You have heard that old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” But really, when I make the same mistake again, it is just shame on me every time. Why? Because I need to correct it and learn from it. This is the behavior we must train our children to follow.
Do you know why they charge more for TV advertising than radio advertising? TV is more effective. You remember more when you see something and not just hear it. If we want our children to model good behavior, we must be willing as leaders and parents to model and show them what to do.