Failing Forward . . .
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
Years ago a high school friend suggested I read "Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success" by John C. Maxwell.
There's an old saying that goes "God uses people who fail . . . because there aren't any other kind around."
Probably, a school class should pound this into us. Failure is inevitable for anyone willing to try something new. Maxwell says that successfully dealing with failure starts not with changing your circumstances, but with changing yourself, a process that "begins with a desire to be teachable."
The first step to Failing Forward is to take responsibility instead of blaming others. Know that failure is a part of progress, and that sometimes, something just doesn't work . . . but what didn't work helps you learn what not to do next time. (So really, it did work.)
Sometimes I'll take failure personally, as if God is putting me in little-kid timeout because of something wrong I've done. But God told Job that his friends, the ones who'd said he was being punished because of his sins, were wrong. He reminded Job that it was Himself, God, who invented the squirrel and the ocean and the whales in it. That His ways were not Job's ways, although a man more righteous could not be found.
And He reminded Job that He loved him. God reminded Job that He could be trusted, and in the meantime Job needed to keep chopping wood and carrying water.
That's the line we're all working off of. We are priceless, of eternal value to God. He's the source of our strength to fail forward.
"Our enemies have no reason to gloat over us. We have fallen, but we will rise again. We are in darkness now, but the Lord will give us light." Micah 7:8 (NIV)
Writer/Editor Specialist, University Communications--Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana
Bible Teacher, Sports Announcer
eThoughts Team -- Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XIII, No. 05-14TA -- Archived
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita--Editor and Publisher
Scripture marked (NIV) is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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