How do we avoid making the same mistakes over and over?

Nobody likes making mistakes.  We like it even less when we make the same mistake repeatedly.  Read our Bible text again and focus in on verse 13:

[13] And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. [14] But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. [15] Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” [16] And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. Mark 10:13-16

If you were to read the earlier chapters of Mark's Gospel you would see that Jesus had brought children into the conversation in several places.  You would see that Jesus had taught the disciples about their value.  You would see that Jesus had gone above and beyond to make sure people had access to Him.  This is a beautiful picture of how the road to Jesus is open to you and I.  He desires us to be able to come to Him unhindered.  

Yet, the disciples had made a habit of preventing folks from interrupting their busy Master.  They even rebuked others for doing so...

This was a mistake when they did it earlier and it was still a mistake now.  Why did they keep doing that?  Here are a few possibilities:

They were focused too much upon the destination rather than the journey. Hurry, Hurry.  We don't want to miss anything...we have to get there and get there quick.  We can blow by people and opportunities when all we can see is the finish line. 

They still devalued children as less than adults. The culture had a low value upon children.  Even though we value children much higher in some ways today this can still be an issue.  In conversation, in service, in respect...we must see children as Jesus did...an example of 'how to approach God' with Child-like faith. 

They didn't yet understand the heart of Jesus towards all of humanity.  We can sometimes fall into the deception that God's grace was and is for us but surely isn't for another group.  We can try and reserve His love for ourselves as if it is limited.  It is not.  His abundant love is enough for me and it is enough for you. 

No matter the reasons, these men were caught in a besetting sin.  This is sin that we repeat again and again and can't seem to shake.  Either we don't want to or don't have the ability.  Some sin is not looked at negatively in the culture so we don't feel much pressure to change.  This could be the case here since children were of low value during this time of history.  A sin might beset us because we have other motives...like having more time with Jesus for themselves.  No matter the reason, the Bible gives us a clear picture of what happens when we have besetting sin.  Read it here:

[1] Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us...Hebrews 12:1

If you are caught up in a particular sin you are slowing yourself down. To run the race of this life you must lay aside the heavy burdens of besetting sin (sin that clings so closely). How? By understanding that it hinders you (and possibly others) and turning from it by repentance to a Holy God who is faithful to forgive us of it. You will be free to run. You will be free to love. Go for it!