My reading plan for last week was titled “Working through Failure”. I got a different understanding of how I can engage failure to cultivate good and positivity in me. What do you think?
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
If our reaction to failure is despair, then we are feeling the hollowness of a broken idol. But if our reaction is perseverance, then we are experiencing the gracious power of God.
Norm Goodyear (Cargo Pilot): “There’s no perfect flight…. In the flying world, when you make a mistake, you just have to go on because if you dwell on your mistakes (whether as a pilot, a child of God or whatever) you’re going to keep looking in the past. In the airplane, as well as life, you’re going at 300 – 500 miles/hr and you can’t dwell in the past because the future is coming at you pretty fast.”
It’s important to learn from our mistakes, but we can’t let them become obstacles. We have to move forward, trust God for both forgiveness and guidance, and prepare for what’s next.
Winning Smart After Losing Big,entrepreneur Rob Stearns writes that there’s a big difference between experiencing a failure and being a failure: “You are the same person after your loss as you were before your loss.” It is strength of character that enables us to get up and keep moving when we’ve failed.
Failure can be the result of others’ actions, circumstances beyond our control, our own actions, or a combination of all three. While failure is no fun, it can benefit us in the long run. When mourning our mistakes compels us to make ourselves right with God and others, God comforts us and our relationships improve.
Andy Crouch, Executive Director, Christianity Today: “All creativity leads through failure, takes you through failure and some creativity lead you to failure, you just end up in failure. In every creative endeavour, you fail before you succeed, at least when you are learning…there are levels of failure you have to contemplate or go through to get to success and get greater and greater…. The calling to the creative life…is not a calling to more and more clear success. It’s a calling to more and more creativity – which may or may not succeed – all of which is going to put you at risk for failing, all of which has to be put in the hands of God.”
Feeling sadness is uncomfortable. Without the emotional blessing of sadness, however, we would probably never muster the guts to admit our mistakes. But when we do admit mistakes, we may be surprised how often people are ready to forgive us.
©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.