“A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.” – Proverbs 28:13 (TLB).
We will fail. We live in difficult times. There are many times that we feel like failures. Whether feeling like a failure in specific areas or in general, we can struggle with getting things right, not doing enough, or failing to have everything together. Failure is so universal we must wonder why more self-help gurus don’t address it. Bookstores overflow with volumes on how to succeed. But you’ll look long before you find a section called “How to Succeed at Failing.” We will fail, but knowing what God says about failure is essential.
Paul says it this way in Romans 7:18-19, “ And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” Paul is saying the struggle with sin is real. We still fall into sin as Christians. We fail to live perfectly because of the sin that dwells in us because of our flesh. “ But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans. 7:16-17).
We need to remember that it doesn’t matter what we’ve done, how far we’ve wandered, or how many failures we have experienced. God is always actively pursuing us to bring us back to Himself. He will break every possible barrier to reach you. Today, you can meet with Jesus, bring Him your failures and mistakes, and allow Him to work in your life. Rick Warren said, “It’s easy to respond poorly to failure. A safe life is a wasted life. God made you for far, far more than the life you let your fears define for you.” The most important thing about failure is how we respond.
We can respond to failure by trying to learn. C.S. Lewis said, “Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” In truth, failure is one of the best places to meet God. Failure can push you closer to a relationship with Jesus and increase your faith. Failure drives you to more profound prayer. It can strengthen our resolve to work harder on behalf of the dreams God has given to us.
Some of you reading this may be looking at the areas where you have experienced failure. You are disappointed and left with some hard questions. Don’t give in to apathy. Don’t give in to the lies that failure wants to tell you. Instead, ask Jesus to turn your hope into action and transform that failure into something amazing.
Failures are fatal only if we fail to learn from them.
- How have you seen God turn your mistakes into good? How have you seen him do that in the lives of others?
- If you know that God can use anything for good, how does that help you let go of the mistakes of your past?