A good friend of mine came over to the house this evening and we started talking about business and some of the choices that we have each made throughout the years that turned out, on hindsight, to be poor decisions. It’s not like we have really stubbed our toes and been badly burned in the process, but there are always those somewhat suspect opportunities that look good at the time and on reflection, were regrettable at best.
I remember I once made a decision to sell services to a company that went out of business right after I committed to do business with them. I took a loss that, at the time, could have put me out of business. I just wasn’t careful in doing my due diligence. And my friend had an example of something that happened several months ago that will end up costing him some time and also has had a negative financial impact on his business. Thank goodness that most of the choices we have made throughout the years were good ones but every one of us has made decisions that weren’t the correct ones to make at the time.
In my case, and I only feel qualified to speak for myself here, it is usually a case where I sense the opportunity to make some easy money. Somewhere deep down, I almost sense something out of the ordinary but I’m drawn by the idea that when the dust settles, I will be ahead of the game – but that is rarely the case. And my friend and I are both fortunate that the mistakes that we have made haven’t ended up costing us our businesses or adversely affected our lifestyles as a result of our experiments.
In almost all the cases I can think of, I had the chance to avoid mistakes by listening to people who gave me advice and had been through similar circumstances. In other words, they were more familiar with various outcomes and what could happen. But more times than not, I neglected to listen and that is where most of my bad decisions seem to stem from.
The Bible is another way that we can get advice about what to do in certain situations. God has given us a plan to follow and, unfortunately, most of us have to learn the hard way that we should have followed the advice. And it’s not like the Bible isn’t available to us – we can consult it anytime we wish – either in book form or on the internet or even our phones for that matter. One of the great things about God is that He is rarely unwilling to give us another chance to do right. After all, He is the master of forgiveness and while there may be a little setback, we usually don’t suffer terribly adverse reactions from a failure to listen to God, at least the first time.
In the trade, paying for mistakes we make in our decision making is referred to as “tuition” – kind of like going to school and paying for the education you received. Well, you can also pay for the mistakes you make in the business world – and I’ve done that quite a few times. So my friend and I toasted one another with our coffee cups – to the tuition we have both paid throughout the years.
The verse for this evening is from 2 Tim. 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” My encouragement this evening is that one of the purposes of Scripture is to help us avoid paying tuition so many times. My prayer is that you will heed the advice of God and those who have gone before us – minimizing the number of mistakes we will make as we go through this life. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…