Monday, June 22, 2009

Experts in "Failure", Part 2

As previously mentioned, the concept of defeating failure seems to be a popular topic among the mini-bloggers of Twitterland. One could summize that how we handle the failures in our lives determines the eventual outcomes of our efforts. It's a matter of perspective.

The successful people around us appear to be the ones who have used setbacks to their advantage. They've not run from them; rather they have faced them head on, some even placing themselves in environments where failure was inevitable. Why? They knew that they would come out of adversity stronger than when they began and eventually find success. Thomas Edison had the best perspective on the countless failed attempts of his many inventions. He said, “I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work."

When I look at scripture, I find several "failures" we can use for encouragement in our own personal setbacks. The common denominator is that they didn't quit. They got up and went back for more when they had every opportunity to quit and run away.
  • Joseph, after being laughed at and abused by his brothers, kept believing and sharing his dreams.
  • Moses, after hiding in the desert, returned to Egypt to rescue the Isrealites. In doing so, he was denied permission over and over, but kept returning to Pharaoh again and again.
  • Joshua, after being defeated in a battle, went back a second time after the Lord said, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
  • Daniel, after being warned to stop praying, continued to pray and experienced God's protection in the lion's den.
Obviously, this isn't exhaustive. Yet, the concept is consistent no matter how long the list. Success comes when we use the setbacks in our lives to make us better. One quote I found communicated that the express route to success begins with failure. The more we fail, the quicker we get to our desired results.

With all that said, I would be foolish to stop here without stating the ultimate source of success. I think it's best stated in scripture:
  • Proverbs 16:25 - "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."
  • Proverbs 16:9 - "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."
  • Joshua 1:8 - "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."

Face your failures, trust in the Lord and let him define your success!

1 comment:

  1. Another great man of the Bible who had some very disappointing failures was the Apostle Peter. Wasn’t he a major player in some religion or something? :)

    Proverbs 16:3 - Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.