Proverbs 20:30 (Good News Bible) says, "Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways." How true!
Over the years of ministry, I have learned plenty of lessons from the dumb things I have done.
I can tell you that I will never again let a group of teenagers be completely responsible for a canoe without any adult supervision. I will never again let an alcoholic prepare juice for the Lord’s Supper.
And one other thing: never again will I tell a newspaper editor that he can dig up anything I have written in the past and print it as a devotional column.
I have a pastor friend who told me that he will never again start filling the baptistry with water and then leave the baptistry unattended to go eat supper.
Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago, tells about a group of pastors who sat around and shared lessons they had learned the hard way. One guy said, "I’ll never make my mother-in-law the head elder again." Another pastor said, "I’ll never let a guest speaker teach on signs and wonders while I’m on vacation."
A particularly easy-going pastor said, "I’ll never again tell the worship dancer, ‘Just wear whatever you want when you dance at the morning service.’ Big mistake!" (Bill Hybels, Courageous Leadership, Zondervan, 2002, p. 178).
No wonder Solomon wrote, "Gray hair is a glorious crown" (Proverbs 16:31, HCSB). Gray hairs come with experience. Just look around your church for people with gray hair. Sit down and listen to them. They probably have some great stories to tell that can save your hair from turning gray too soon.
(Copyright 2013 by Bob Rogers. Email: email@example.com. Read this column each Friday in the Herald. Visit my blog at www.bobrogers.me.)