Sour Grapes

Fox with Ale and Chicken LegNot being able to get something we really wanted and denying afterward that we really ever wanted it; a form of self-deceit

Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.  Freud

Honesty is the best policy.  Anonymous

Resentment or grudges do no harm to the person against whom you hold these feelings but every day and every night of your life, they are eating at you.  Norman V.  Peale

   “Sour grapes” is yet another means by which we are dishonest with ourselves.. We do live in a very competitive world. The culture of our society pushes us and calls us to be doers and accomplishers. We are largely measured by what we visibly do and accomplish. Imbedded in these measurements of our success is a display of the materialistic things we have acquired, the places we have been or the things we have done. We subject ourselves to tremendous pressures as we try to measure up to what the world considers success. It is more like we are a puppet on a string rather than being a free and independent self-functioning person.

   “Sour grapes” occurs when we are unsuccessful in acquiring or doing something we really wanted and chose to lie to our self that we really never wanted it in that much in the first place. Instead of openly and honestly admitting we failed, we lie both to self and others to make our failure appear unimportant. It serves as sort of a defense mechanism that tries to protect us from feeling bad at least ‘publically’. Actually, we deny ourselves the growth and learning experience that comes from having setbacks, failures, and defeats. A very important part of life’s growth process is to experience these events, and learn from them, and grow through them. They cause us to become wiser and stronger. They increase our capabilities to succeed and accomplish even more as we continue through life. We can remember childhood experiences where someone, possibly us, whined, “I really did not want it anyway”. The truth is we really did. We were too immature and too insecure to lose graciously.

  Those that indulge in sour grapes are weak willed, mentally immature, and are not measuring up very well to life’s growth processes and tests. Experiencing failure and defeat and leaning to deal with such experiences is critical to our ongoing growth process. Each time we fail, we have an opportunity to grow a little more. Learning to lose and face temporary defeats with grace and with self-control is most desirable. It is beliefs, determination and self confidence in ourselves that will see us to our next victory. It is part of our maturing process. We have to live through our failures and grow. We have never really ever failed until we quit and do not ever try again.

Challenge:  Overcoming sour grapes requires honesty. When something does not work as you wanted, then you should first determine what went wrong. If it is something you want bad enough you should be willing to attempt it again? It may be that you needed to fall short this time because you were not ready to be successful. The things we want the most are often the most difficult to achieve. Be prepared for multiple efforts in order to gain success.  

Wisdom: It would be an unspeakable advantage, both to the public and private, if men would consider that great truth, that no man is wise or safe but he that is honest.  Sir Walter Raleigh

Spiritual: (NIV)

Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.  Proverbs 22:4

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  James 1:5

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.  Psalm 51:6

Honesty is the best policy. Lying does great harm to our character. We have a tendency to want to avoid the real truth about ourselves. We hide behind fantasies about who we would like to be versus who we really are. All these lies enslave and prevent us from becoming what God designed to be. When we become tired of our lies, we can ask God to help us see truth. He will help us to become the beautiful creation He designed us to be.   

Prayer:  Help me to grow through my failures.                                 

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