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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Winning and Losing

This is an excerpt from Bill Keller and's daily devotional--it applies to writing as much as it does to life in general.

The first lesson in losing, in failing, is to take personal responsibility
and not blame other people or anything else. Having spent 31 months of my
life in Federal Prison, having ministered these past 18 yrs to tens of
thousands of men and women who are incarcerated, I can tell you the biggest
problem I see with people in prison is the refusal to take personal
responsibility for the choices that put them in prison. Most people you talk
to who are in prison will tell you they are there because of what this
person or that person said or did. They are not willing to accept
responsibility that they are there because of the choices THEY MADE. A
person who is in prison will never be able to move forward and turn their
life around until they are ready to accept personal responsibility for THEIR

Whenever we lose or fail, it is always easy to sit back and make excuses.
Some of those excuses may even be valid. However, rather than investing the
time and energy into finding excuses why we lost or failed, it is far more
productive to look at the role WE played in our loss or failure. You learn
nothing by blaming someone else or making excuses. When you sit down and are
honest to look at yourself, at the choices you made that contributed to your
loss or failure, then you are able to learn from the mistakes you made and
hopefully not repeat them in the future. We can all learn much from our
losses and failures in life if we will simply be honest with ourselves and
take the time to analyze our thoughts and actions so we can identify what we
did wrong.

The second lesson in losing, in failing, is to not let our loss or failure
paralyze us from trying again. Some people become so devastated by losing,
by failing, that they simply refuse to try again. My friend, losing and
failing are part of life. As I said earlier, the only people I have met who
have never lost or failed are people who have never tried. You can't be
afraid of losing or failure. Nobody likes to lose. Nobody likes to fail.
However, you will never win unless you also lose and you will never succeed
unless you also fail. Rather than being paralyzed by losing and failing, let
them motivate you. Learn from your losses and failures so that you don't
repeat the mistakes and poor choices you made that led to them. Instead of
losing and failing making you weak, they can make you strong.


The third lesson in losing, in failing is this, THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH
GOD! In the process of serving the Lord, we will always have times and
experiences when we feel in our flesh that we have failed, that we have let
the Lord down. That is a lie from the pits of hell! THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH
GOD! You can't fail when you are serving the Lord. The only way you can fail
is to NOT serve Him! God uses our obedience and faithfulness in ways we will
never see or understand until we get to Glory. The reality is, when we are
yielded to the Lord, God uses our lives to do incredible things that we
never even realize.

As a matter of fact, I submit that the greatest things you will ever do for
God you don't even know you did them until you get to Heaven. Those are the
things you do each day simply by being obedient and faithful . God will give
us a little feedback along the way since He knows our flesh is weak and
needs encouragement. However, the vast majority of what God does in and
through our lives we will never fully comprehend in this life. Don't forget,
our job isn't to know everything that is going on, it is simply to be
obedient and faithful. God can use a willing and yielded vessel!


Cecelia Dowdy said...

Happy New Year, Robin!

Shelley said...

First time here I think. I really liked this line You can't fail when you are serving the Lord. The only way you can fail
is to NOT serve Him!
This was a great post; thanks for sharing it.

I've bookmarked your site and will be back again!


Angie said...

My favorite line from a church camp pastor of mine was " You can blame your parents for who you are, but blame yourself if you stay that way" .

Hi Robin! From Angie (aka D_C)