Lessons from Failures

By Not Known

No one wants to fail.  Failure is unacceptable.  Only successful people are looked upon as having made it in life.  Yet, no successful person can ever say that they had never failed before.  Great achievers have made major mistakes on their journeys to success.  The Bible is filled with successful people who had experienced great failures in their lives.  The key to this is learning how to fail forward.

While many want to learn lessons on how to succeed, few want to train for failure.  In ministry, we need to help people to learn how to fail as much as to succeed.  The Apostle Peter reminded us, “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Pet 5:10).  The training here is to know that after falling down, after failing, after defeats, after discouragements, when you know the God who called you, you will experience restoration, confirmation, strengthening and affirmation.

Look at David in 1 Chronicles 21:1-18. After his victory over the Philistines, the king made an error that brought about devastating consequences.  For a moment, he forgot who is his real king who provided him with the real confidence.  He chose to boast about his armies’ strength and counted the number of soldiers under his command.  God was displeased with him and punished Israel. 

Note David’s response in v17.  Here was a man who understood what it meant to fail forward.  Despite his mistake, he refused to place the blame on others and admitted his fault.  By doing this, he had taken on himself the full responsibility of his action and repented of his folly.  Moreover, he acknowledged again his God and renewed his total commitment to the Lord.

David showed us that failures are part of life and not to be avoided at all costs. Instead we need to understand the importance in accepting failures and learn the lessons from them.  The way to fail forward is to make changes in our response towards it by accepting responsibility and then make right what was wrong.

Peter Poon