Deuteronomy 6:6-8 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.”
George Santayana, a noted philosopher, wrote:
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
He may have rephrased the more cynical version of Friedrich Hegel’s:
“The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”
We often become critical of that at which we fail.
I guess I am reminded of my failures when I see the same in others. Because I have lived through or am living through the results of my decisions, I have the choice to become critical or use the failure as constructive criticism. The path we choose can make all the difference between success or failure or having a sweet spirit or bitter.
A coroner’s job is to evaluate the cause of death based upon the evidence found within the body they examine. The term they use for this procedure is post mortem. We would do well to utilize this process on our own lives, though we do not need to die to perform it.
Questions such as: “How did this happen?” “Why did I fail?” “What could I have done differently to prevent this?” can often help in this process. But, as with so many things in our life, we leave out the very One who has the answers to all those questions, including the ones we do not even know to ask.
It is far too simplistic to use a general statement that sin is the cause of it all, though it is a common factor. You and I must realize some things about ourselves that will aid us in the process of performing a post mortem on our failures.
I cannot trust all that I think or know to be true.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Two things: Not only can I be deceived, but I can also deceive myself. We must adopt a source of truth we can trust to guide us, to teach us, to be the very thing we check against to ensure our words are right, our path is straight, and that those we lead to find the truth as well.
You can search out all of the philosophies and the isms of this world, only to find that it boils down to two sources of truth.
Either we trust a man and his wisdom, or we trust God, the Creator of man.
The Bible, the Word of God, is the source of all truth. A person cannot come to that statement in their life without first doing some soul-searching and study. Doing a post mortem on any one of our failures will mean I have to remain objective. Using God’s Word to analyze my choices, my thoughts, and my behavior means I must be willing to see myself as God sees me.
There is a perspective represented in this statement:
“I am a sinner.”
Romans 3:23 backs us up with that truth.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
But I am also a saint.
Psalm 50:5 “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
Having covenanted with God regarding my sin, He sees me as righteous, though I still sin. So, I can make a more accurate statement:
“I am a saint who sometimes sins.”
When we evaluate our failures and truly learn from them, we can teach others not to go that way, or do that thing. Therein lies a failure of the church today. We fail to train the next generation properly; how to resist temptation; how to live godly; how to have a good marriage. These and many more are subjects God teaches throughout the Word of God.
It is first and foremost the job of the parents, then the church to raise the next generation.
For parents, evaluate where you are and make corrections along the way as God leads.
For grandparents, play an integral part in the lives of your children’s parenting and continually look for opportunities to teach the grandchildren to love God with all their heart.
For single, divorced, widowed, or widower, be a mentor, a teacher, or a student of the Word and then ask God with whom He desires you to share.
God will use us if we make ourselves available. Don’t let your failures keep you from continually serving.
The very fact that you are still breathing means that God is not done with you yet!