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How to QUIT Making Mistakes!
Plain Truth Magazine
August 1966
Volume: Vol XXXI, No.8
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How to QUIT Making Mistakes!
Roderick C Meredith   
Church of God

Born: June 21, 1930
Member Since: 1949
Ambassador College: 1952
Ordained: December 20, 1952
Office: Evangelist

What is the SECRET of overcoming personal problems and job failures? Why do people make so many mistakes? What can be done about it?

   OH, I wish, I wish I hadn't made that awful mistake!" the young woman cried out to herself.
   But she had, just the same as usual.
   And as she watched her husband angrily slam the car door, roar out of the driveway, and disappear down the street she felt a great emptiness sweep over her. Their little home no longer seemed like a castle. It seemed like a tomb.
   Strangely, the thing she had been so upset about with her husband no longer seemed important. He had refused to buy and bring home the new vacuum cleaner they had talked about! Now, in the melancholy silence of the empty house she couldn't care less.
   As she slumped dejectedly in a chair in the middle of the room, she began to realize deeply that it was Bob she wanted not a new vacuum cleaner.
   Why did she always pick at Bob when he came home at night? Why was she so easily hurt and upset? Why did she always have to say the wrong thing to her husband words she deeply regretted later?

Find the CAUSE of Your Problem

   Nearly all of us in the English speaking world have tremendous physical blessings. We have modern houses, cars, radios, television sets, nice clothes, ample diets. Yet, like the young woman pictured above, we all too often have giant frustrations, moods, family problems, health problems, job problems.
   With physical comforts and wealth that the underprivileged three fourths of this earth's population only dream about, most people in the Western world still have deep problems, frustration, and a sense of emptiness.
   It is precisely because again, like the young wife described above we are often "sorry," but we do NOT QUIT MAKING THE MISTAKES that bring on these troubles!
   We generally spend our time and effort treating the result of these mistakes and neglecting the CAUSE. Most physicians, for instance, are in the habit of treating the symptoms of an illness AFTER the illness has already developed. Seldom do they fully explore or point out to their patients what physical LAWS they have broken which have really caused the illness. Of course, they get very little encouragement in this from their patients even if they do. For most people would rather take a pill or a "shot" than to change their habits of eating and living in order not to get sick in the first place.
   A young wife, like the one pictured earlier who upset her husband, will usually try to "solve" the problem by saying she is sorry, fixing his favorite dish that night or some other temporary expedient. Even this, of course, is far more than MANY husbands or wives would do!
   But it is not nearly enough
   Why? Because it only smoothes over the one upset. It does NOT get at and solve the basic CAUSE of the continual fights and arguments that plague so many families today.
   The offending young wife should sit down and carefully ask herself HOW she manages to start so many arguments. And what is the basic CAUSE of her problem. Is she excessively vain, selfish or demanding? Has she never learned to control her temper or her tongue? Are her wrong emotional responses aggravated by poor health, alcoholism, or some deep underlying personal problem which she has never discussed with her husband or taken definite steps to overcome?
   Just what is the real cause?
   The same need to get at the cause of problems applies to job frustrations, social problems and other areas of life.
   If, for instance, you have serious problems in your job or profession be sure you find the real CAUSE, not some imaginary scapegoat. Ask yourself a lot of questions. How did you happen into this line of work, anyhow? Did you purposefully go into it because it interested you and offered a personal challenge to grow and accomplish completely APART from pay or financial considerations? Do you actually have the natural talent, skills and abilities which should normally make you a success in this type of occupation?
   If not, then perhaps you are the proverbial square peg in a round hole. Or maybe you have allowed some other side interest to take too much of your time and attention from being a real success at your chosen occupation. Or are you allowing health problems, drinking problems or personal frustrations of some sort to upset you in a job where normally you should be happy and successful?

Admit YOUR Part of the Problem

   In finding the real CAUSE of your problem, be honest! Don't "kid" yourself!
   Follow the example of Bernard Baruch, multimillionaire, financier and counselor of Presidents. After describing a setback on the stock market, Mr. Baruch states: "In such circumstances some men grow desperate. I grew cautious. I began a habit I was never to forsake of analyzing my losses to determine where I had made my mistakes. This was a practice I was to develop ever more systematically... I never sought to excuse myself but was concerned solely with guarding against a repetition of the same error."
   Good advice!
   In finding, admitting and correcting our mistakes, how many of us NEVER seek to excuse ourselves, but are concerned "solely" with guarding against a repetition of the same error determined that we shall NOT continue making that mistake?
   Other people may have their part in the problems you face. But, like Mr. Baruch, you need first of all to find and correct YOUR mistakes that contribute to these problems. Face up to these mistakes you have been making. Admit them to yourself. Determine to QUIT making them.
   When you have learned to do just this much, then more than half the battle is won!


   Apart from seeking out and admitting particular mistakes, you need to learn the LAWS of life, health and success. These will enable you to avoid mistakes before they occur to recognize a potential problem on the horizon and bypass it without having to suffer first!
   The first law of success is to set the right GOAL! In finding the right job or profession as a part of that goal, evaluate very carefully the real likes, dislikes and the particular abilities and skills you have been given.
   Again, don't "kid" yourself for even though you might like the financial rewards or prestige of some occupations, you would in all likelihood be frustrated and miserable in them if you didn't enjoy the day by day routine they involve. And you will undoubtedly enjoy and be able to put your heart into a job more easily if it is in a field where you EXCEL and are naturally competent because of your inherent talents and abilities.
   Among the other laws of success are the need to obtain a proper education; the importance of building radiant health; the need for putting drive into all you do; the vital matter of exercising resourcefulness and the persevering to the end. For a full and extremely helpful description of these veritable "laws" of success, write for your free copy of our valuable booklets: The Seven Laws of Success and How to End Your Financial Worries.
   The Creator has set definite laws of success in motion which we ignore only to our own hurt. You need not only to learn but to LIVE BY these laws if you wish to be successful and happy. You also need to come to the realization that ALL true laws of life which any of us may discover are based upon and are simply magnifications of the great spiritual LAW of God as expressed in the Ten Commandments.
   The Ten Commandments set forth the basis of the true WAY OF LIFE intended by Almighty God to bring man blessings, happiness and health. To quit making mistakes, you need most of all to study and LIVE BY this Law. King David of Israel realized this and wrote: "O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day."
   Use your mind! Examine your mistakes and problems in the light of the Ten Commandments and see where YOU have been wrong. Ask God for the strength and courage to acknowledge your mistakes to REPENT of your sins and errors!
   To help you understand how to apply the Ten Commandments to your daily life, you will want to write for our vital booklet entitled: "The TEN COMMANDMENTS". It will help you to see how God's laws are Living Laws just like the law of gravity. It will enable you to see the principle of God's Law as applied to any given situation.

Practice Self-Discipline

   A truly successful man is one who learns to do the things he doesn't like to do. Although you should choose your occupation in a field where you excel, there are certain facets of almost any job that may be disagreeable. To be successful, learn to set yourself to perform these unpleasant chores with vigor!
   Also, you must learn to discipline your tongue, your thoughts, actions, and appetites. You may have a tendency to say too much and therefore constantly strain relations with your boss, your husband or your wife. Millions of Americans and Britons constantly overindulge in alcoholic beverages to the extreme detriment of their jobs, their families and their friendships. To be successful and stay successful you must RULE over your appetites, emotions and words or they WILL Rule OVER YOU!
   Notice God's instruction: "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that RULETH his spirit (thoughts and emotions) than he that taketh a city" (Prov. 16:32).
   Now note this inspired warning regarding careless speech: "He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction" (Prov. 13:3). Whether with your mate, your friends or on the job, learn to THINK before you speak!
   If you tend to be lazy or sluggish, again you must DISCIPLINE yourself to get up, to get going and to accomplish! This is not easy, but once you set the HABIT of hard work and accomplishment, things will begin to come your way. The hand of the DILIGENT shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute" (Prov. 12:24).
   Frankly, every one of us needs to realize that no matter how much knowledge we may have we CANNOT be truly and permanently successful of and by ourselves! As we have already seen, THE way to happiness and success is in obedience to the great spiritual LAW of God. Yet, our very human nature is basically and diametrically CONTRARY to this Living Law.
   "Why?" you ask.
   The apostle Paul answers: "Because the carnal mind is ENMITY AGAINST GOD: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7).
   Therefore, according to your Bible, true and lasting success can only be obtained by those who have deeply
   REPENTED of transgressing God s Law which after all is THE WAY to success and have now received God's promised Holy Spirit to give them the strength to QUIT MAKING so many mistakes and to begin obeying the Living Law of their Creator. The Holy Spirit is promised only to those who have repented of their sins of transgressing God's Law and have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Ruler (Acts 2:38).
   God imparts to us the power to overcome our human nature and quit making so many mistakes by giving us of His Spirit, notice: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of POWER, and of love, and of a sound mind" (II Tim. 1:7). It is through the POWER of God's Spirit, then, that the true Christian can LITERALLY begin to conquer his human nature, overcome his mistakes and make the kind of permanent success his Creator intended.

Your Wholehearted ACTION Required

   To really quit making constant mistakes and to become a success, you will have to FERVENTLY DESIRE this result! Just "thinking about it" isn't good enough. You must be willing to pay the price of success. It is worth it!
   Let us review the FIVE STEPS you should take:
   First, you need to find the real CAUSE of your problems or mistakes. Don't spend all your time and effort coming up with a temporary solution which only alleviates the result of your mistake. Get at the CAUSE and thereby avoid future mistakes of the same nature.
   Second, learn to ADMIT and go to work on your mistakes. Follow Bernard Baruch's example of seeking to determine where you have made YOUR mistakes NEVER seeking to excuse yourself but guarding solely against a repetition of the same error.
   Third, learn and practice the LAWS of life, health and success.
   Fourth, begin to discipline your emotions, words and actions with God's help and power of His Spirit.
   Fifth, be wholehearted in fervently desiring to overcome your mistakes and in DOING IT!
   God says: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, d o it with thy MIGHT" (Eccl. 9:10).
   In dealing with your personal mistakes and problems, if you will learn to find the real CAUSE and then follow through with the above five steps you will surely find success. In overcoming your mistakes AND YOURSELF, you will have a deep sense of accomplishment and a growing realization that this process is also leading you far down the road to fulfilling the very PURPOSE of human existence!

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Plain Truth MagazineAugust 1966Vol XXXI, No.8
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