There are those who say when you learn something the hard way you really learn it.
I suppose it’s true.
There is something about the lessons learned through pain that makes them stick.
I’ve never been a fan of learning the hard way. Not the one to enjoy challenging consequences . . . I listened to advice, followed the rules, learned from the mistakes of others, and lived controlled and cautious.
But there will always be thrill seeking individuals who feel the need to test the rules to find out if they really apply to them.
Whether you’re cautious like me or a thrill seeking boundary pusher there are lessons that can only be learned through experience . . . the hard way.
- No matter how hard you try you can’t make everyone love you.
- Just because everyone is doing something, doesn’t make it right.
- No matter how badly you’ve been hurt it’s important to forgive others.
- Unkind words may not break bones but they leave scars.
- You are stronger and braver than you believe.
Having learned both ways . . . I will always choose easy when possible.
So, I’ve come up with a list of things I want to do to make wise choices and avoid life’s unpleasant consequences when I can.
The Best Advice for Learning About Life the Easy Way
1. Pay Attention
Although it may seem obvious, too many of us are simply going through the motions of life instead of truly embracing it. We get so focused on personal busyness and challenges we fail to notice the countless things we could be learning from those around us.
So, look around. Notice what’s going on in the lives of your extended family, your friends, neighbors, coworkers, on the news, etc. Always ask, “What can I learn from this?”
It may be something to do as often as it is a NOT TO DO. And remember to learn from your own mistakes. Why repeat painful consequences if you can avoid them?
Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge. Proverbs 18:15
2. Search for Help
The Bible is a storehouse of wise counsel for life. God’s truth is timeless and His commands are intended to bless and protect us not to spoil our fun.
And, Google is another friend. Information is available with a mouse-click. It won’t give you wisdom, but it will give you facts and examples. Search the words . . . “how to,” and you’ll find over 13 billion links to “how to” information. Fill in the blank and you can find help for almost anything.
My child, listen to what I say and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Proverbs 2:1–4
3. Ask a Mentor and Be a Mentor
Go to a trusted and wise advisor for advice and direction. We can learn so much from each other. Expertise isn’t required . . . because experience is a very effective teacher.
And be a mentor. Sharing what you’ve learned and the ways God has worked in your life can help prevent pain for someone else.
I can’t imagine the painful lessons we were spared because people took the time to mentor Rev and me.
Dear friends who helped us with…
- parenting advice.
- tips on nutrition and health.
- inspiration for our faith.
- wise financial counsel.
- helpful homemaking tips.
Mentors help make smooth the journey and give comfort when the road is rough.
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The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9
“Mentoring is: Sharing Life’s Experiences and God’s Faithfulness” ~Janet Thompson
4. Take Notes
I keep journals everywhere. I have journals for post ideas. Prayer journals. Blessing journals. I’m thinking of starting a Life Lessons Journal where I stop and reflect on the day.
Some questions I’m asking…
- What did I learn today?
- What might I have done differently?
- What went well?
- What didn’t?
I want to confess my failures, know what to change, and celebrate my successes.
Obey my commands, and you will live. Guard my teachings as you would your own eyes. Remind yourself of them; write them on your heart as if on a tablet. Proverbs 7:2–3
5. Pray and Pray Again
Ask God for wisdom and guidance.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5
I love that you and I can ask God to help us pay attention, search for help, find a mentor, and take notes. That we can confess our mistakes and ask Him to help us learn from them. And we can ask Him to show us His better way.
Our loving God doesn’t want us to learn about life the hard way . . . so He gave us His Word full of truth to help and guide us.
Not because He wants to spoil our fun or make life less thrilling but because He loves us.
He wants us to know and follow His will.
The Lord is good and right; He points sinners to the right way. He shows those who are humble how to do right, and He teaches them His ways. All the Lord’s ways are loving and true for those who follow the demands of His agreement (Covenant). Psalm 25:8–10
Life will never be perfect.
You and I live in a fallen world and there will be plenty of moments that will teach us hard lessons, but with God’s help, we can avoid some of them. I’d like to avoid as many as possible.
I believe His ways keep us safer and happier and as far as I’m concerned safer and happier is better.
By God’s grace and with His help we can learn life lessons the easy way.
What do you think?
Where do you need His counsel to make better choices?
Ask Him. Your loving Father wants to help.
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