Creflo Dollar - How To Learn and Grow From Every Opportunity
We're gonna pick up with the series on "Emotional Maturity" and this is gonna be pretty good for you tonight, I think you can really eat it good. "Emotional Maturity," just in review, it's all about your ability to understand and manage your emotions. So we talk about emotional maturity, it's about your ability to understand and to manage your emotions. Now God gave us emotions, but he never meant for emotions to govern our lives. So we have emotions. A lot of times Christians try to pretend like they are emotionless. We have emotions, God just wants to make sure that emotions don't have you, okay, all right.
So an emotionally mature person, we're talking about learning how to be emotionally mature. An emotionally mature person has reached a level of self-understanding with regards to their thoughts and their behaviors and then what happens is they decide how to best approach or how to cope with the situations that might otherwise be trying or challenging in their lives. A lot of people end up in bad, bad, dilemma because they don't know how to deal with those emotions. So being emotionally mature can help you reach successful solutions to your problems as well as keep problems from overwhelming you.
So a lot of things that happens in the life of Christian is not really because of the devil, it's because of emotional immaturity. And if we don't learn how to mature emotionally, you keep, you know, allowing yourself to be put in a position where you just end up in dumb places because you get angry and don't know what to do with it. You get sad, don't know what to do with it. You get depressed, don't know what to do with it. And then crazy stuff comes as a result of you not understanding how to take authority over your emotions. If you understand that, say amen. So what we did the last time, well, every time I preach on Wednesday night, we're talking about the signs of emotional maturity. In other words, how can you tell that you are mature or not emotionally? How can you tell if you are going down the path of emotional maturity?
Well, we've already talked about three of 'em. Number one, we said being flexible. When you are a person that can be flexible when plan A didn't work out, but you're flexible enough to go to plan B and plan C, that's just a sign that you are maturing emotionally. If you're a guy that starts freaking out and cussing folks out and acting crazy 'cause Plan A didn't work, you are not flexible and neither are you mature emotionally, okay. Number two, we talked about taking ownership and responsibility. Taking ownership and responsibility of your stuff and of your life is proof that you are emotionally mature. However, if you play the blame game and you wanna blame somebody else for your situation or blame somebody else for the circle that you're standing in your circumstance, that is a clear, clear sign that you are emotionally immature, playing the blame game.
And let me tell you something about playing the blame game. You don't grow blaming people for where you are. You don't grow. I think what I used was the fact that you can't keep blaming the floor for your inability to dance. It's not the floor's fault that you can't dance. And you've got to accept responsibility and not continue. "Well, it's that person's fault, it's that person's fault". You know, Adam blamed Eve, you know. "It's that woman you gave me". And as long as you play the blame game, you stay the same. And that's the issue, you play the blame game, you stay the same. So I ask God to help you to at least recognize when you're playing the blame game because you're not emotionally mature when you're playing the blame game. And then the last time I was here, we talked to you about knowing that you don't know everything. It's okay that you don't know everything 'cause the truth is, you don't.
And it's okay that you don't know everything. I think I talked about the blessing of not knowing. And the blessing of not knowing is now you have to depend on God. Now you have to really trust God. But if you walk around thinking you know everything and can't nobody tell you nothing 'cause you know that you know that you know, now, it's cool that I am very serious when I say, the more I learn about God, the more I realize how much I don't know. I mean, just when you think, it's when I knew little that I thought I knew more than what I knew. And some people know more than what they understand, you know. But man, I am convinced right now by the Spirit of God, he is deep, he is high, he is wide. And what I thought I knew, I found out I don't know at all, praise God. He is magnificent, full of love and all the things that, you know, we just kind of mentioned.
So tonight... here's what we're gonna talk about. This is... I don't even know if I've ever taught this tonight. I'm excited about it. We're gonna look at the path of looking for learning and growth from every opportunity that you go through. In other words, every experience that we have in life, look for the learning and the growth that you can get out of those experiences that you have in life. This is something you do intentionally. I am gonna be intentional about getting the wisdom out of everything I go through. I'm gonna be intentional about growing from everything that I go through. And so there are some pretty hard scriptures to look at on that. So an emotionally mature person is on the lookout for what can be learned from any situation or any opportunity and then he searches for the growth opportunity within that situation. And he asks himself this, "How can I learn and grow from this"?
Now, everybody goes through stuff all the time and every day, but we don't intentionally say or ask ourselves the question, "How can I grow and what can I learn from this"? Sometimes we're just so busy trying to figure out whose fault it is, but, you know, it's a part that we played and I have found that has been probably one of the biggest blessings of my life. "This thing that I've gone through, what can I learn and how can I grow from it"? I did that when I was going through the cancer diagnosis. It was like, "Okay, what can I learn? And, you know, how can I grow from this"? And you would think, well, what do you mean what you can learn? It's the devil. No, it was some things that I began to learn and that I began to grow in just my everyday life and the decisions that I made in my everyday life. And even, you know, my desire to want to be very intense about excellence in ministry, there's a way to do that but then there's a wrong way to do that, to be stressed out 24 hours trying to be excellent, okay.
I don't have to not be excellent for the sake of not being stressed, but I can continue to grow towards excellence and so what do I learn out of three tumors in my body? What do I learn and how do I grow from a cancer diagnosis? I'm saying you can intentionally do that with almost any experience that you go through. And if you do, you're gonna find out tonight, you're gonna be better for it. Develop a passion for learning because if you do, you will never cease to grow. Develop a passion for learning, and if you do it, you will never cease to grow. So you see that learning and growth go hand in hand. You wanna know if you're really growing in the things of God, the learning and growth go hand in hand.
I wanna maintain a passion of learning. I want to never cease in my growth. I don't want to just get up and preach the same thing I know, I wanna grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, I want to experience that intimate relationship with him and begin to share it with people because the day I stop learning, the day you stop learning is the day you stop growing. It's the day you stop growing. And that is so true with so many people who've become so complacent with what they already know, as if Jehovah Jireh is that limited, that you think in your few years of being saved, you know everything there is to know about God, and preachers especially. You're the preacher so you know everything. You are lying, a leek, and your breath stink. A preacher don't know everything just 'cause he wears a collar. There's still learning opportunities.
And I wanna keep learning and I asked the Lord this a long time ago, "Lord, please help me to be someone that's always a student". I wanna be a student of grace, I wanna keep learning. What am I doing? I'm continuing to grow because I continue to learn. You have to be intentional about that. That can't be something that, you know, you wake up and say, "Well, let me see how I feel about it". You have to be intentional about that. And one of the things I've learned over the next, of the upcoming weeks, I'm gonna really be strong on our leaders, you know, meeting with our leaders, retraining our leaders, because you've been doing something for 20 years, don't mean you know everything there is to know about it. Especially leadership. Leadership always has to be learning.
When was the last time you paused to learn something? We don't have any excuse today. You got Google and Siri and AI coming out too soon. You should always be digging. I love researching. I research what I said. In fact, I research what I research because I know there's something here that I can know and understand better. I wanna keep growing. I just don't want to end up, it's over, you're dead, you're in heaven, and I get to heaven and I'm blown away and find out I had a dust ball knowledge of who I thought God was, amen.
Leaders have got to always be in the posture of learning because leaders need to grow. And you can grow from your bad experiences as a leader, and you can grow from your good experiences from a leader, and you can grow by listening to the testimony and the history of other leaders, but leaders have to be willing to continue to grow and to learn, okay. And now, so let's talk about something right quick. Let's talk about learning from your mistakes, learning from your mistakes. In this life, please understand this, in this life, ladies and gentlemen, we will make a lot of mistakes. Can I get a witness in this house tonight?
In this life we will make a lot of mistakes. However, mistakes make us stronger because they are a learning experience. Mistakes can make you stronger because they are a learning experience. We'll get in scripture in a moment. Somebody say, "Pastor, you just making all this up. What does scripture say"? I'll show you what scripture say in a minute. I'm just trying to get you to understand that you don't run away from mistakes, don't let mistakes beat you down, don't let mistakes tell you, "God, don't love you no more," don't let mistakes tell you, "You're gonna go to hell," don't let mistakes do any of those things, mistakes make us stronger because they are a learning experience. And you might be shocked when you get to heaven to see how many of those mistakes God allowed to happen, you gotta grow.
So there're certain things that's gotta happen in our life to grow. But if you come up with this belief of, "Well, I'm a Christian, and oh God hates me and I'm going to hell 'cause I made a mistake". No, the mistake is a growing experience, a growing opportunity. I'm cool with that. I'm not beating people up for their mistakes. I'm now saying, "What did you get out of it? What did you learn"? A learning experience. Boy, that ought to kinda help you redefine a mistake. Learning... guess what happens when you drive a car and you take the wrong turn? You know, when you have to go to that destination again, if you're intentional about learning, you'll understand, don't turn here, learned something the last time when I turned here.
You know, and this was before Maps. I don't really know how we used to do it. I know I used to do it. Give me a sign. What was that? A symbol of where I am, something, a landmark, give me a landmark. Where there'll be a McDonald's right there on your right, right in front of Crystals. Well, I ain't gonna make it in your house with McDonald's and Crystal, boy, we... But you learn from your mistakes. I need y'all to hear this. I need you to hear this. You're not a bad person because you made a mistake. Now, here's the deal, hopefully you're learning from those little mistakes as you grow up and become old so you won't make them big mistakes that'll cost you big time. Like a big mistake. Like, you know, you don't wanna go and rob somebody 'cause if get caught, the po-po gonna get you, and you going to jail. Well, you done learn from that mistake. And what happens is people go to jail and then some of 'em get out and they didn't learn anything, guess what happens? They go and do it again.
Christians do the same thing, do the same thing. "Well, you know, I got with this lady and she was so fine, and then I did this, and you know". "How long did you know her"? "I just met her". And now you're burnt and then you go do it again. You didn't learn nothing from that mistake. You might need to know these people. And a whole lot of other stuff I hadn't said about that, okay. Not to mention that you might ought to be married. "Oh, don't nobody believe in that no more Pastor. You ain't got to be married". I said, you gonna have to learn some stuff. You're gonna have to learn some things so that you can learn how to be wise and life will teach you through a series of mistakes that your holier than thou self didn't want to hear nothing about.
But I tell you what, when that mistake comes and that circumstance start whooping that butt, then all of a sudden you're ready to learn something that you didn't even wanna learn when you came to church. If you don't learn your lesson, your situation is going to occur again. Look at Proverbs 26, verse 11 and 12 in the NLT. If you don't learn the lesson, if you don't pull the wisdom and something out of that situation, it'll happen again, it'll happen again. Somebody says, "I don't know why I keep ending up married to the same old no good for nothing man". Because you didn't learn from the last one you with. You keep letting the curls and the cologne, you know. Okay, so here's what he says in verse 11, he says, "As a dog," "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise".
We shouldn't be like dogs that return to vomit. We shouldn't be the ones that go back, back again to foolishness. Learn the wisdom, get the lesson outta the situation you're going through so you won't see it occur again in your life. What about learning from the mistakes from others? You know, I like to sit down and talk to people about, I mean, have pretty lengthy conversations about things I've gone through and what I've learned from those things I'm going through, and I'm sharing it most of the time because I want you to avoid something. Both of my G-babies came over just to say, "Hey". One of 'em in college and the other one senior high school and he came over and I sat down and I said, "I feel led to talk to you about something".
And I don't know if you were in the confessions this past week when I drew those circles and I talked about time, life, response, and results. Well, I wanted to break it down a little bit more to him. And he was listening, and this joker started falling asleep while I was talking to him. And I told him, I said, "Now, I'm not going to ever talk to you about this again". I said, "This is an opportunity for you to understand life. Never gonna talk to you about it again. So you might wanna do everything you can to stay up. I am giving you something so valuable, I'm giving you something that I learned through mistakes. I'm giving you something that I now understand that no matter what life brings to you, no matter what happens, if you can learn how to respond the correct way, the Bible way towards that, you're gonna love your results".
And responding God's way may not feel good, but the results is what you're gonna learn, it is gonna be good. So, you know, if you young, you know, "Yeah, yeah, sir". All right, all right never gonna do it again. I am getting pretty good at that. It's like, all right, I'm talking to you, this is it. And then when it happens, I'll act like, you know, "Well, dad, what you think"? "I'm done. I don't think nothing. My brain ain't even on. What you mean what I think"?
People share their history with you because they don't want to see you, you know, repeat the same thing they know about. They have seen the movie that you're trying to finish and they know exactly how it ends. And for some reason, you know, it's like going down the street and, you know, two months ago the street continued but you don't know they tore the bridge down. It's now a dead end and a cliff. How do I know that? 'Cause I went down there, I saw the dead end, and I saw the cliff, almost went over it. So I'm saying to you, don't go down that street. It's cut off, it's a dead end and a cliff. "I wanna see myself. You know, that's your generation, my generation, we got to see ourself".
Fine, fine. If I'd had known, I'd have took some insurance out on you real quick. Learning from the mistakes from other people. Most people who've made mistakes don't want you to make the same mistake. You know, like your mama and dad and people that love you, they don't want you to make the same. So they pour out wisdom to help you to learn, pour wisdom out to help you to learn. I'm trying to empty myself. I wanna take, if the Lord doesn't tarry, which don't look like he gonna be tarrying long, I wanna empty myself. I'm to the place right now that no matter what I preach it's an opportunity to empty something on other people, but I do realize people gonna do what they gonna do, but I can still keep pouring.
Look at this in Proverbs 21 and 11 in the King James. Proverbs 21 and 11. This is so, so very, very, important, you know. Looking at every situation, every circumstance, looking for learning and growth from every opportunity. Looking for learning and growth from every opportunity. Proverbs 21:11 says, "When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise". Should be, you see what the scorner had to go through. "And when the wise is instructed," what happens? "He receives," "He receives knowledge".
Look at that progression right there. You know, learn from the mistakes of other people. I like Proverbs 12 and 15 in the NLT, turn there, Proverbs 12 and 15 in the NLT. He's just pretty straight with this scripture, this is good. He says, "Fools think their own way is right, but the wise, listen to others". "Fools," that's the guy who says in his heart, "There is no God". "Fools think their own way is right". I spent some considerable amount of time like, "Lord, you know, I don't wanna think that my own way is right". So when I'm telling you something that is right, you need to know, I've taken it through stuff, I've taken it through things, I've looked at things, I've experienced things, I've seen the hurt part of it. "Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others".