I Hit Him over the Head
"Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again."1
Sports Illustrated writer Jeannette Bruce once spent two-and-a-half years taking judo lessons, progressing steadily through the entire spectrum of self-defense "belts."
"On one rainy night," she said, "it all seemed worthwhile. The thing every judo student dreams of happened to me. I was walking down Sixth Avenue about 9:00 p.m. when a man stepped out of a dark doorway and tried to snatch my purse. How prepared I should have been, how ready to smash him to the pavement with a flourishing foot sweep!
"Instead . . . I hit him over the head with my umbrella!"2
I suppose most of us can identify with Jeanette in some way. We get a great opportunity to do something worthwhile and blow it by doing or saying something stupid. Or when faced with temptation, we know how to resist the enemy because we know all the right Bible verses to fend for ourselves. However, instead of putting on the "whole armor of God," we seek to overcome in our own strength—and fail miserably.
However, when we do fail, the important thing is to get up, learn from our mistakes, and go on, having learned to put our trust in God in every situation in which we find ourselves. When I am tempted with bad thoughts, knowing my vulnerability, I simply pray, "Help, Jesus, help! Help, Jesus, help!"
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that when I stumble and fall, you do not condemn me but reach out to help me get back on my feet again. In every failure please help me to learn from my mistakes, get up, and, trusting in you, go on. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Proverbs 24:16 (NIV).
2. Cited in Bits & Pieces, Vol. F, 4th Quarter.