Falling Is Not Failing

“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” Proverbs 24:16

This verse is a pretty well-known verse from the book of Proverbs. I have been thinking about it a lot today.

The definition of the word ‘just’ is based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair. While the definition of the word ‘wicked’ is just the opposite, evil or morally wrong.

Every person falls into one of these two categories. We are either trying to live a just life or we are living a wicked life. We know which one we are living, God knows which life we are living and those around us have an idea of what kind of life we are living.

Everyone in life will fall at some point in their life. We even see it illustrated throughout the Bible. Probably the two most famous Bible characters that fell at some point in their life were David and Peter. Both of them had some serious mishaps and mistakes in life. David committed adultery and Peter denied Christ. They fell. They were down in life.

These two men, most would classify them as just men. I can sit here and tell you what David did, does not fall under the definition of ‘just.’ I can also sit here and give my opinion on when Peter denied Christ and how that doesn’t fall under the definition of ‘just.’ Although they committed acts that were physically immoral and in Peter’s case spiritually immoral, I still consider them to be just men. David and Peter were too of the greatest men in the Bible, yet they fell at points in their life.

David wasn’t great because he killed Goliath. Peter wasn’t great because he preached the day of Pentecost. These two men were great because they had learned what it was to fall and get back up again. I don’t think anyone out there would consider these two men failures in their life because they fell.

Wicked men fall the same as just men fall. But there is a difference, the wicked stay down while the just man will keep getting up time and time again.

When you fall, you are going to get hurt. If you take a bad fall, you more than likely will hurt yourself in some way. When you fall in life, you hurt yourself in some way. You may get hurt physically, you may get hurt emotionally, you may get hurt mentally, and you may get hurt spiritually. Find a Christian you look up to and ask if they have any regrets in life, I can almost guarantee that everyone has some regrets because at some point they fell and they were hurt and now they live with the scars and the memories of their fall. No matter how hard you try in life to not fall, it is bound to happen. No one is perfect, no one is going to live life without falling. We all will fall and get hurt at some point in our life.

When you fall, you will need help. The easiest way to get up when you fall is to have someone help you up. If you are the one who fell, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. You are in a pivotal point in your life, you need help! You need someone there beside you to help you up and help you back on your way. If you see someone fall, be willing to help them up. At some point, you will fall and will want someone to help you.

When you fall, there is still hope! Falling is not failing. Staying down is failing. When you fall, there is still hope for you. Get back up! You will be hurt and have regrets. You will need help. But in spite of all that, there is still hope for you. In the Christian life, if you fall, remember God can and still wants to use you.

We all will fall in life. The reason some of us fail is because we stay down. We are hurt, we don’t want any help and we think there is no hope. We need to get up and keep on going for Christ. The Bible says a just man falls, but gets up again. Then the verse ends by saying a wicked man falls. Everyone falls, but whether you get up or not classifies you into one of two categories. It is your choice and your choice alone whether you fall and get back up or you fall and stay down and fail.

Falling is not failing! Get up! Keep on moving forward for Christ!

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The Sin of Self-Indulgence

In Proverbs 23, Solomon doesn’t hold back when it comes to the topic of self-indulgence. We don’t see this term in the chapter, but we do see the principle throughout the entire chapter.

Solomon covers a few different topics of self-indulgence in this chapter.

He opens up the chapter with the self-indulgence of food. Vs. 1-3

He then mentions the self-indulgence of riches. Vs. 4-5

Next he talks about the self-indulgence of knowledge. Vs. 12, 23

He mentions the self-indulgence of sexual gratification. Vs. 27-28

Then he finishes the chapter with the self-indulgence of alcohol. Vs. 29-35

Self-indulgence: excessive or unrestrained gratification of one’s own appetites, desires, or whims.

When I look at the topics he covers throughout this chapter, there is only one that I believe is sin whether done in moderation or excess and that is alcohol. If you look at the other topics mentioned, they are all good if done in moderation. The exception to this would be sexual gratification, this is right if done within the confines of marriage between man and woman. Anything outside of the biblical guidelines is sin.

Food is good, but done in excess is gluttony.

Riches is good, but if that is our only concern in life then it becomes greed.

Knowledge is good, but we shouldn’t fill our minds with useless things and things contrary to Scripture.

Sexual gratification done in marriage is good, outside of that it is fornication and adultery.

Alcohol is sin. There is no good thing about it.

Anything done in excess, anything that we are unrestrained in, can be a sin if it takes the place of God or takes away from the things of God. We can make a list that goes beyond the topics covered in Proverbs 23 that can become sin if we indulge to much in them.

Self-indulgence comes from the inability to say no.

You eat too much because you can’t say no.

You are greedy because you can’t say no.

You don’t care what knowledge you gain, whether it is good or bad, because you can’t say no to what you listen to or look at.

You have sex outside of the biblical guidelines because you can’t say no.

You drink alcohol because you can’t say no.

If we are honest with ourselves, whether other people know or not, at some point we have all had a problem saying no to whatever sin we were faced with at the time.

One of the first words a child learns, at least mine did, is the word no. My one year old answers no to everything it seems like! Why is it that as we get older, we have a harder time saying no? It seems like it is easier to say yes to the wrong things and no to the right things when it really should be the other way around.

Tips on saying NO.

Don’t be afraid to say no!

Walk with God. Ask God to give you the power and strength to say no.

Avoid the things that you have a hard time saying no to.

Have someone to hold you accountable with the things you have a hard time saying no to.

Develop the right attitude towards wrong actions. When you believe wrong is wrong as much as you believe right is right, you will have an easier time saying no.

Don’t be afraid of what others may think of you for saying no. You have to give account for what you do in your life.

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Open Your Window

“For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,”

Proverbs 7:6-7

This chapter is the story of a simple young man who had every chance to make it in life, yet had his life destroyed because he went down the wrong street. He went down the street of the harlot or the street of the sin that so easily besets you.

I have heard many lessons and messages from this chapter and they have all been good and have been a help. But, I noticed something the other day in my Bible reading that has been sticking in my head.

I noticed that Solomon, (as I believe he was telling this story to his son) stood at his window and watched a young man head down the path of destruction…

…And said nothing to warn him.

Yes, Solomon warned his own son of the destruction of that path…but, why couldn’t he yell out the window and say “BE CAREFUL!!” or “WATCH OUT!!”

The lesson I take from this, is that we should be wanting to do our part in helping people avoid destruction! We should want to do our part in pointing people the right way!

I’m glad that I had people in my life from my parents, to my friend’s parents, youth pastors and preachers, even some of my bosses, that have opened their window and yelled and told me to watch out and be careful! They cared enough about me to want to stop me from falling into sin and ruining my life!

So today, open your window and yell out a warning when you see someone headed down the path of destruction! Someone opened theirs and helped you! Don’t keep the truth to yourself!

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