Growing is really hard. It’s something we all want to do, but without a strategy it’s like trying to win a game without understanding your team or the other team. Or asking out a girl on a date without figuring out what you’re going to say, or why girls are insane. We’re like a football team who is strong against certain opponents, and not others. And we can’t just expect to get better from game to game without a strategy.
Who are the teams you lose against? And why? Only when you figure those things can you come up with how you can win. We have to break things down if we are to figure out how to win.
To grow, we need to overcome failure, and to do that we need to consider three things:
- Who do we fail against?
- Why do we fail?
- How do we prevent failure?
If you’re like me, your losing list is quite extensive. Actually, It’s more of a database than a list. So start with the losses that hurt the most – start with the people closest to you – your spouse and family. In what situations do you get upset with your spouse or family? Or what elements cause these difficulties? For example, let’s say you lose your patience with your kids because they don’t do their chores. We’ve identified the ‘who’ and the ‘why’, now we have to come up with ‘how’. And there’s two parts for the ‘How to prevent failure’:
- Fix the situation
- Fix your heart
Fix the situation – If you can come up with a strategy so that your kids will start doing their chores, that will lower the frequency of the situation, thus lowering the chances that you’ll sin in response. Is there a better system for reminding them? Do you need to use a reward system? Do you need to alter the punishments? Ask for wisdom (James 1:5).
Fix your heart – Prepare your heart beforehand to be patient with them in these situations just as a team practices a certain type of defense so they are prepared during the game. When your kids disobey, have your response prepared. How can you show love and patience with discipline? Again, ask for wisdom.
Now, think of situations specific to you. Why do you get into arguments with your spouse or family? Do certain situations cause it? Are there certain topics? Do they have certain weaknesses that cause bad situations? What are your weaknesses that help cause these situations? Keep asking questions. Analyze, analyze, analyze. Why, why, why? Then think of, ‘How can you respond?’ Prepare, prepare, prepare. How, how, how?
And don’t expect to get it right the first time. Don’t expect to get it right all the time. Situations always change. A team you beat last week can beat you the next. So be patient. And always adapt. When we come up with a strategy to combat failure, we can start to grow.
Philippians 1:9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.
Take Time To Pray: Ask God for wisdom so that you can identify your losses and how to fix them. Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness.