As a mother of three children, one almost a teenager, I find myself saying this phrase…a lot. It usually follows a disrespectful tone, a half-cleaned room (and sometimes body), or a failed assignment. However, I didn’t always turn to these words. With weary frustration, I would scold and lecture them on what they did wrong and how they needed to change. The goal was correction but through many words, little learning actually took place. That is until one day, I heard the Father speak, “Let’s try this again”. The power of this simple phrase not only transformed my parenting but has brought so much freedom in other areas of life as well.
The Four Things We Communicate When We Say “Let’s try this again”.
1. “I see you.”
When I say this to my kids, I am inviting them to stop and become aware that I am ready to partner with them, having identified a behavior working against their success. I remind them there is a better way and they get a second chance to discover and practice it….even if that means retaking their shower.
2. “I forgive you.”
Inherent in “ Let’s try this again”, is a forgiveness for the wrong. It also says that I am powerful enough to absorb the consequences of your actions and that learning from the mistake is more important than punishment. Unfortunately, I learned this the way all good learning does- “on the job”. As a designer for a book publisher, I made a $50,000 mistake that was only realized once the book had gone to print. No one on the entire team caught the mistake, but ultimately it was mine. I felt horrible and embarrassed. I will never forget the response of my boss. Even though it affected him greatly, there was no punishment, no scolding, no frustration (at least shown). He simply absorbed the cost of a reprint and directed our focus to the next task without dwelling on the failure of the past, knowing we all learned a valuable lesson.
3.”I believe in you.”
Many of us have experienced a different message when faced with failure. It’s the voice of Shame along with its tormentors, Punishment, and Rejection, They stand at the door of failure shouting an ultimatum of change. Void of hope, they simply remind us where we fall short. They lie to us, stating this is WHO we are and that we are powerless to change. When faced with shortcomings or failures, we must not partner with Shame. When we choose to “Let’s try this again,” we are saying that our “do” is not necessarily our “who”. Grace empowers us to take responsibility, take a risk and try again.
4.”You’re not done yet.”
Nothing exemplifies this more to me than a couple having difficulty trying to conceive. Each month HOPE speaks “Let’s try again. Maybe this time will be different.” Abraham knew this reality well as it says in Romans 4:18 “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
What is God saying to “Let’s try this again?”
God promised a land to the children of Israel. Their unbelief and a bad report kept them from it. A generation later, God spoke to Joshua “Let’s try this again”. David wanted to bring the ark to Jerusalem but did so the wrong way. After taking a time-out, David said: “Let’s try this again”. When Peter denied Jesus, gave up his dream of being a rockstar evangelist and returned to fishing, Jesus came to him and said: “ Let’s try this again.”
What is it for you? Maybe it’s a challenging work environment, a bad business decision, or a difficult relationship. Maybe it’s an expectation you just can’t seem to meet. Maybe you lost your way, lost your faith or quit your dream.
Maybe it’s time to partner with HOPE and say,
“Let’s try this again”.
Hope Seth carries a passion for personal and city transformation. She longs to see others connect with the heart of God and discover their identity through hearing His voice. Hope and her husband Micah live in Redding, California with their children Miciah, Isaac, and Amarys. In addition to being a wife and a mother, she is the Director of Entrepreneurial Development for the Shasta Economic Development Corp where she works with entrepreneurs and innovative companies to create economic vitality.