The legendary basketball coach at UCLA and incredibly mature Christian, John Wooden, is known for his motivational quotes. One of my favorite Wooden quotes is, “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”
Failures in my life have led to long periods of paralysis … of doing nothing. I felt and acted as if I was defeated by my disasters. Obviously, failures can have consequences and make an adverse impact on our lives. But their biggest and most harmful aspect is their propensity to distort our lenses if we aren’t diligent to process failures properly and accurately.
But on the positive side, when I look back on most of those mistakes, I see that they created great opportunities for growth and led to positive change in my life. In fact, my life has really taken off since I learned how to view failures in a way that allows me to look deeper in my heart, to seek God and His instruction more, and to apply what He is teaching me.
Have you learned from your failures? Or have you let your failures defeat you? Since nobody is perfect, we all experience failure. But God wants you to trust, learn, and try again with more of His help and less of your understanding. When we fail, we often look at it as the last step in a situation. Instead, it is just one of many steps in a long process of growth. It is part of the refining process, letting us know where we need to work and especially where God wants us to invite Him in to help us.
Our need for immediate positive results and affirmation often prematurely push us to overly catastrophize a less-than-ideal outcome. Then our pride and lack of humility interfere with a willingness to seek help from a Higher Authority. Where has this gotten you? Don’t you think it is time to change this strategy?
Today, assess areas where feelings of failure leak into your heart. Ask God in, reflect about what you need to work on, seek God’s instruction, be open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Most of all, don’t make that area of struggle more important than your relationship with God. See yourself through His lenses, as one of His very own children, covered with the blood of Christ. Don’t let failure continue to defeat you. As a Christian, your war is won, failure isn’t even a possibility. We do have daily battles and He will equip us for victory if we let Him. Your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, You know, Father, I have a string of failures … and I continue to fail each time I sin against you. I thank You, Father, for sending other believers to me to serve as guides and teachers. Thank You especially for Your Holy Spirit that empowers and guides me. Help me, Father, to learn from each failure. I thank You for picking me up when I fall, and for sending Jesus Christ at my most fallen state, to forgive my sins. I pray this in the name of the One whom You sent to give me and all believers victory, Jesus Christ; And all God’s Children say – AMEN!
but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8,9