As we try to do the things God’s called us to do, we’re bound to face some challenges on the way, take some wrong turns, and experience failures. The only way we can avoid failing is by never doing anything – and that’s not what God’s called us to do. The real question isn’t whether or not we’re going to fail, because we definitely will at some point, but whether we’re going to learn from our experiences and turn it into the wisdom that we need to thrive. Do our failures make us too afraid to try again? Or do they give us the insight we need to succeed the next time? The Bible says: ‘For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.’ This shows that failure will happen, but if we’re trusting in God then we can keep rising up. The next time we fail at something, let’s try to avoid feeling bad about our failure and ask ourselves these questions: ‘What have I learned? Am I grateful for this experience? How can I turn it into success? Where do I go from here? Who else has failed like this, and how can they help me? How can my experience help others? Did I actually fail, or just fall short of an unrealistically high goal? What did I handle well about this experience?’ It’s also a great idea to ask God for insight and wisdom (take a look at James 1:5). If we’re willing to view our failure in a positive light and to analyse how we can use what we’ve learnt in the future, the things we go through will enable us to grow stronger and wiser.
When was the last time you experienced failure? Ask yourself the questions in the reading, and ask God for His wisdom too.