When was the last time you hurt someone with a comment or action, said something you regret saying, or made a choice to do something that you wish you could rewind?
Well, I did all of those this summer. Multiple times. It was a hot mess. (Since I live in Texas, it literally was a hot mess!)
And then a speaker at a conference I was attending a few weeks ago said something that slapped me in the face:
What if where you are today because of your failure is a better place than where you would have been without your failure?
Ouch. I didn’t like that. But it’s so true.
A Hidden Opportunity
Let’s lay some groundwork here: Sometimes failure means we’ve sinned. So repenting to God is our next step. He promises to forgive (1 John 1:9) and provides a path forward (1 Cor. 10:13; Ps. 103:10–12). But sometimes failure just means things didn’t go as planned or we made a mistake.
We have an opportunity to grow and mature when we mess up. When we fail. Success in life and relationships is great, and it feels good. But we often grow the most when we’re pushed outside of our comfort zones.
Here’s my big question for us: How do you handle your failure and mistakes? Do you take responsibility, or do you blame someone else for your missteps?
If we can learn from our failure in humility and confess that we made a foolish choice, we’ll become more like Jesus (1 Peter 5:5). Our empathy for others will grow. Our sensitivity to others will increase (because we’ll remember our mistakes when we see their mistakes).
Failure, though it hurts, has the potential to be a positive force, something you look back on and say, “You know, if I hadn’t experienced that, I would not be the person I am today.”
Don’t Get Sidelined by Failure
But failure can also cripple us. It can knock us down and keep us out of the game. We can become so focused on our failures that we don’t refocus on God to move forward into becoming who He wants us to be.
All throughout Scripture we see God using people who failed. Big time. Failure doesn’t disqualify us!
For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity (Prov. 24:16).
Are you struggling with something right now? A mistake you made this summer? Or maybe last summer, or even the summer before that? Don’t let it defeat you!
Romans 8:28 gives us this hope: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
God can work through the mistakes we’ve made.
God can work through the mistakes we’ve made. It may not be clear right now how He’s using your pain or your mistakes. But He can use our failure to tell an incredible story of grace and redemption, encouraging others to seek Him in their failure.
I’d love to hear from you.
- What’s something you’ve learned from a past failure?
- How has failure shaped you to become the person you are today?
PS: If you’re curious about what it means to repent of your sin, take a look at these posts: