Proverbs 26:11 says, “Like a dog that returns to its vomit, is a fool who repeats his folly.”
Recently, I read about twin brothers from Louisville, Kentucky. When they were sixteen they were both arrested for stealing a car. Due process took its course and they both paid their debt to society.
It’s now twenty-five years later. One of those brothers is in prison. He’s been there for the last nine years and isn’t scheduled to be released for another five years. He has a rap sheet that’s several pages long. He’s been arrested many times for a wide variety of crimes. He is, essentially, a career criminal.
His twin brother, on the other hand, is married, has two children, and is the vice president of a successful company. He serves on the board of several charitable organizations and is well thought of in his community.
Both of those brothers committed a foolish act when they stole a car at the age of sixteen. But only one of them was a fool.
A few years ago a man stopped by my office to talk to me. He didn’t have an appointment, which was frustrating because I was neck-deep in some work I had to get done that day. But I invited him in and we talked…for about three minutes.
At about the three-minute mark I interrupted him and said, “You know what? I don’t think I want to have this conversation with you.” He said, “Why?” I said, “Because we’ve already had it about ten times. Every time you come in here, you tell me the same things. And then I give you the same suggestions on how to fix the situation. Then you walk out the door and don’t take my advice. You do the same things all over again, and then three months later you come back here and talk to me about how unhappy you are.” I said, “Look, when you start changing things…when you start doing something different, then let’s talk. Otherwise, I’ve already said everything I have to say on this subject.”
I’m sure you can guess what happened.
He got mad at me and ultimately left our church. I didn’t lose a minute’s sleep over it. I figure I did my best to help him. It’s not my fault if he insists on returning to his vomit.
Are you still struggling with the same problems that have been hounding you for years? Could it be that the reason is because you’re still making the same old mistakes? With a tip of the cap to Jeff Foxworthy, you might be a fool if you keep doing the same things over and over again while expecting different results.