Betting on the Wrong Horse

Have you ever gone to a horse race and bet on the wrong horse? If so, you went to the window and bought a ticket for your horse to win, place, or show. You may have paid a small amount for your ticket or you may have bet a lot. Sometimes, you may even have bet everything you had. If your horse was not a winner, you may have lost a little or a lot. One thing you do know is that you “bet on the wrong horse.”

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Even if you don’t bet on horse racing, it is easy to “bet on the wrong horse” in life. Perhaps you broke up with someone really nice thinking that the latest person you met was better, more exciting. Your new relationship begins to sour quickly when  you see that the new person is selfish, self-centered and toxic for you. You begin to realize that you “bet on the wrong horse.” This can happen in the job market also. You have a pretty good job, but you think you need a different one, one that will pay more so that you can get that fast car you have been wanting. Perhaps, you quit the old job and found that the new job is not what you thought it would be. Your new boss is a tyrant and expects you to work a lot of extra hours with no overtime, you’re now on salary. Again, you realize you “bet on the wrong horse.”

What should we do when we have made a bad decision, one that is costing us more than it is worth? The first thing we need to do is admit to ourselves that we made a mistake. We usually know it, but we must say it to ourselves. Then we need to honestly evaluate our situation. What else do we need to do in order to turn around and get going in the right direction?

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The next thing we must do is tell someone else. This step is a little harder to take because it involves our pride. We must be willing to admit our mistake to another person. The best kind of person to admit this to is one who can be trusted and is a lot wiser than we are. A parent, pastor, teacher or other counselor can usually help us get turned around and get moving in the right direction. Many times we don’t want to admit our mistakes to others but the truth is that those closest to us already know we have made a mistake. They are just waiting for us to see it for ourselves and seek their guidance.

What do we do if we have “bet on so many wrong horses” that our life is filled with losing tickets? We have completely messed up in so many areas that we don’t think there is any way to get turned around and get going in the right direction? That’s when we need to go to the One Person who can help us. Yes, I am taking about God. He is more than willing to take us where we are and bring restoration into our lives. The word “repentance” is sprinkled throughout the New Testament and it is from the Greek “metonoai” which means to change one’s mind. When we change our mind about our decisions, we can then come to God and seek His mind on the matter. We can admit to Him that we have messed up and ask Him to help us.

Is it easy to go to God and tell Him we have made a disaster out of our lives? Not always, because again, it involves our pride. We must humble ourselves before Him and admit our mistakes. The good thing about it is that He, just like those closest to us, already knows that we have made mistakes. He is just waiting for us to see them, admit them, and ask for His help. His Word is full of examples of people just like us, who made mistakes and needed His help. 

Betting on the wrong horse…easy to do. Admitting to ourselves we have made a mistake…not so easy. Admitting to others and to God we have messed up…a little harder. But getting turned around and getting a reset so that we can go in the right direction? Always more than worth it!

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9