Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 19th – Proverbs 19: What Does It Take For YOU To Learn?

“Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge.” – Proverbs 19:25

There are two basic types of people out there; those who listen and those who don’t. Some like to call it the “school of hard knocks” but in reality it’s simply a confession, “I DON’T LISTEN”. We don’t HAVE to be utterly destroyed by the rigors of life before learning something; in fact God would rather we learn it verbally than physically. Simple people, mockers and the foolish pretty much require physical pain to learn a lesson. Wise people require a much softer touch.

So the question is, which are you? What does it take to alter your course? You should ask yourself, MUST I feel the pain of my bad decisions and suffer to learn a lesson or can I take a rebuke to learn the same lesson? Stupid Simple people REQUIRE pain to change. Wise people will take a verbal rebuke to accomplish the same purpose. In fact, they view rebuke and correction as LIFE GIVING:

“He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.” – Proverbs 15:31

Several years ago I was running a full time Design firm to substitute my income working at the church. Both were full time jobs and for several years I lived out 80-100+ hour weeks, trying to juggle both responsibilities. I never did manage to do it well. In fact, in business I only managed to lose money! But one account came up and I got excited about it. It was a big hotel in Atlanta and the client wanted me to replace a bunch of existing signage with new designs.

I remember telling my Dad about the big account. I was excited and was sure to make some good money. He patiently listened to the details of the account and told me, “Ryan, I think you should pass on this one. It sounds complicated and I think it’s over your head. You REALLY need to be careful on this one.” I responded badly. “What?! This is one of the biggest accounts I have landed, I don’t want to give it up, I need the money!” But he persisted and over the course of the next couple weeks added a couple more warnings, telling me to watch my back, etc. Well, I didn’t listen; I thought I could handle it.

I was WRONG.

The job WAS over my head. I had to bring in a big sign company to help me manufacture the signs. Long story, but my salesman was a complete snake. The company was run by a beady eyed old man that had ZERO Integrity. After missing multiple deadlines, producing the wrong product and installing the WRONG SIGN on the front of this hotel they REFUSED to make it right. My client was nice about it, but patiently informed me that they wouldn't pay one cent to rectify the error. All in all, after several weeks of my life spent in anxiety and under threat of a lawsuit, I ended up paying $12,000 out of my own pocket (money I didn't have) to avoid getting sued. It was an unmitigated disaster.

I could have learned with a word. Instead, I was an idiot and required PAIN to teach me a lesson. Sound familiar?

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