Learning how failure finds us and how to make it work for us
Nobody likes failure. Even when we have been told it's good for us, that it's a stepping stone, and that you don’t learn from success nearly as much as you learn from failure, we still don’t like it! For many of us, it can be discouraging, debilitating and even depressing. So, what do we do with this? We learn from it. We look into the lives of those whom we consider successful. By studying their failures and corresponding reactions, we can use their experiences to help us navigate our own experiences. The Bible is full of great examples of faithful ones who had many failures. But it is also full of their success stories afterwards. What are we waiting for? Let’s get started with this whole making-failure-work-for-me thing!
Making failure work for us
Probably a good place to start to make failure work for us is to understand how it works its way into our lives. There are four basic ways that we come to fail. The first way is as a result of a lack of knowledge. Let’s say that you try and do something but were legitimately never informed of some key point in the process. Failure becomes an almost sure thing in this scenario. Good news! This reason is probably the most easy to fix because the reason for the failure is both simple and external. This means our ego will most likely stay intact, as the failure was not generated by our own carelessness. Moving forward can be easy and productive.
This sounds familiar...
Let’s look at an example of failure that can sound like a lack of knowledge but is really generated by the second way failure comes to visit. You’re a guy and you are driving (dare I go down THIS road?) to an unfamiliar destination. Somehow someone must have moved the destination because it is not where you have driven to (I can say this – I’m a guy and I have done this). As it gets to the point of being late, your wife is telling you to stop and ask someone (of course there is no cell service – they must have moved that as well) but you insist on finding the place on your own. Guys, face it – this is epic failure, not due to a lack of knowledge but due to (I’m going to say it) a lack of maturity. Failure can often come because we are just not grown up enough to recognize it.
What do we have so far? We have two ways to fail and not a whole lot about what to do with them, and we haven’t even mentioned the other two ways that failure finds us. This can only mean that you need to check out our June 19, 2017 podcast, “How Do You Manage Failure? (Part I)." Part II will round out what you need to know. We get really practical about learning the process of failure and how to maximize it for our benefit. We also take a look at some really big questions about how God views our failures and the failures of the world. Checking this out will really be worth your time! Oh, and guys, I promise you won’t have to ask for directions!
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