Have you ever been there?
Underneath that dark cloud that failure paints, when a relationship doesn’t work out, you lose a job, a business idea doesn’t go as planned and it feels like the world around you is crumbling - we are not failures. We’re only human beings, like Paul and Peter and Jacob in the bible, who like us, failed.
“We all stumble in many ways.”
— JAMES 3:2
Everybody stumbles in different ways, but experiencing failure does not make you a failure. It is not our successes that make us credible witnesses to testify to others, but our failures, because we can relate, because we have been there and can bare witness that there is victory through failures. There is light at the end of the tunnel, your story is still being written.
Let’s think about Jacob, he was a liar and a fraud; it was hard for him to do right and he fell short of God’s glory a number of times. But God extended grace to Jacob, he was redeemed and realigned by God through his failures and weaknesses, not in spite of them. Jacob played a huge role in God’s plan to redeem the world and was one of the most important figures in the bible. Jacob embraced his failures, looked past them and trusted God. Jacob failed forward.
Albert Einstein failed his entrance exam to school and then proceeded to fail his way through school. Einstein failed even more before revolutionising the way we understand space, time and energy and winning the Nobel prize for his achievements. Failure did not stop Albert Einstein from innovating, so don’t let failure stop you from being who God has called you to be.
When you fail, you become vulnerable and you count on Him more, you surrender all shortfalls to Him.
What’s more, in failure we learn about wisdom, we learn about grace and we learn about faith. Failures matures us, we are fuelled and strengthened for bigger tasks ahead, we overcome. You cannot become who God has called you to be if you don’t experience failures. Don’t get stuck in the shame of failing, you are only human after all.
Allow yourself to learn from your mistakes and release self-shame. Failure often leads to innovation, you figured out this wasn’t the best way, so you found another. Failure also creates resilience; you overcame and now you are strengthened for the bigger tasks ahead. Innovation and resilience are the building blocks for success.
Failure is inevitable. You will fail. Probably more than once too. You will fail again and then fail some more but keep searching, keep believing, keep trusting, keep rising, keep failing forward- God is there. He is waiting to turn your failures into successes.