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WHEN YOU ARE TRAPPED IN A HOLE, STOP DIGGING

If you find yourself in a difficult situation, don't continue doing what you are doing. Although, it might seem like simple advice that should be common sense, remember common sense isn't. It is based on life experience. If we haven't had the experience, we might not know how to handle it. We may be under the illusion that if we keep on doing what we are doing things will change. They won't. Doing the same thing and expecting things to be different is the definition of insanity. If you are not getting the results you want, it is because you are not doing the right actions. Stop doing what you are doing and do something else, anything else. Just remember, if you are in a hole, the best thing to do is stop digging and create a plan for getting out of the hole.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (also known as the Two Brothers, Lost Son, Loving Father, or Lovesick Father) is one of the parables of Jesus and appears in Luke 15:11–32. Jesus Christ shares it with his disciples, the Pharisees and others.

When life isn't going our way, the first thing to look at is our actions. Stop and ask yourself what you are doing to create the situation. It might seem like you are an innocent victim, but the truth is there are very few innocent victims. Most of us, when given the opportunity, can figure out what part we are playing in creating what we don't want in our lives. It can be something like staying in a job we hate, or letting a friend treat us poorly, or not standing up for ourselves.
More than likely we are doing something or allowing something to happen that isn't serving us. Stop! Give yourself the opportunity to take a few steps back from the situation and access what is really going on. If you can't do this on your own, seek help from a professional or trusted friend. Often, others can see what isn't working in our lives and what the cause is better than we can. Once you figure out what you need to do differently, do it. Knowing what to change and not changing it doesn't help you.

Where are you continuing to dig yourself into a deep hole? Perhaps you continue to overspend creating more and more credit card debt or perhaps you are not taking the steps that will enable you to seek a better job. Whatever you are doing that is creating a deep hole, stop, decide what actions you are doing that contribute to the situation and change it. Awareness is the first step. The next step is to take action.

If you can remember the parable of the son left his family to become independent of the father and lived a prodigal (reckless, foolish, extravagant) life. No doubt it was fun while it lasted.

When he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in the land: The son was completely to blame for the wasteful, foolish living and spending. He was not to blame for the severe famine, but was afflicted by it nevertheless.

When he began to be in want…he sent him into his fields to feed swine: Driven by hunger and need, the son accepted work that was unacceptable and offensive to any righteous Jewish person because swine were unclean under the law (Leviticus 11:7).

"But when he came to himself" In his misery the prodigal son was finally able to think clearly. Before it might be said that he wasn’t really himself and thought as another man; then he came to himself.

Jesus didn’t say that the man thought of his village or his home, but of his father. When the son returned to the father, he also came back to the village and to the house; but his focus was on returning to his father.

That is how we need to come back to God – to come back to Him first and foremost, before coming back to church or coming back to Christian friends.

The prodigal first thought; but he didn’t stop at thinking. He didn’t just feel sorry and think about repenting; he actually did it.

In his prepared speech to his father, the son showed his complete sense of unworthiness and an honest confession of sin. He would not even ask to be treated as a son, but as a hired servant. “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’” Luke 15: 17-19

May you, by divine grace, be turned from thinking to believing, or else your thoughts will become the undying worm of your torment.

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