Friday, July 19, 2019

The Value of Negative Life Lessons

By: Sarah Geringer

Which negative experience are you going through now?

I experienced something slightly negative this week, but I'm choosing to search for the lessons in it rather than complaining and growing sour.

There's a lot to be learned from the negative things that happen in our lives. We can also learn from the negative experiences in others' lives. I don't want to repeat the same mistakes I've made, and I also don't want to repeat the same mistakes I see others making.

Learning from negative experiences can help us grow even more than positive experiences. When I look back on my life, my faith grew the most during times of learning from the negatives.

I think the apostle Peter could say the same thing. He is known as the disciple that constantly put his foot in his mouth. He could be impetuous, brazen and thoughtless. Just look up scriptures like Matthew 16:22-23 and Matthew 26:73-74 for examples.

I can see myself in Peter. I don't judge him for his mistakes. My heart breaks for him every time I read this verse, because I can see myself standing in the same negative path:

Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Matthew 26:75 NIV

But God used this negative lesson to water the seeds of great faith Peter had shown when he made a unique declaration and stepped out on the water. He shaped Peter into the rock of the early church and helped him mellow.

We can see a difference in Peter by reading his New Testament letters. If you read 1 Peter and 2 Peter closely, you can see that God has refined his words and seasoned them with salt and light. He is still using Peter's positive and negative lessons to inspire us today, thousands of years later.

If you are suffering from a negative lesson today, I encourage you to meet with Jesus like Peter did after his hardest lesson. Jesus drew him close, showed forgiveness, and gave Peter hope for the future.

Here's a prayer to encourage you today:

Heavenly Father,
I praise you for helping me learn from all things, both good and bad.
I confess that I often miss the lessons you are trying to teach me.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn from my mistakes.
Give me insight into negative lessons so I can make better choices in the future.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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Reflection questions:

1. What past negative experience holds the most lessons for you?

2. How can meeting with Jesus help you get through a current negative lesson?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! Great word. The Lord has been teaching me to grow better, not bitter from negative experiences.


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