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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

09 Dec '11

The up side of failure

Posted by T.J. Addington in personal growth, Restoration, spiritual formation, The heart
We all fail, whether in large or small ways. No one is exempt. We mess up a relationship and it fails. We lose our business and it fails. We get a bad review and feel like a failure. We lead a team that fell apart - failure. A divorce, DWI conviction, being fired from our job...there are many definitions of failure. Sometimes it is true failure and sometimes we just feel like a failure. But what is failure?


At its root, failure is the opportunity for growth! It calls the question on whether or not we will learn from our circumstance whether self inflicted or other inflicted. It is an opportunity to start over and evaluate, re-calibrate, engage in God in a new way and see new life. Failure is not fatal but an opportunity. Moses found this out, as did the apostle Peter and King David or in our time, Chuck Colson.


When failure invades our lives it is time to call a time out! Depending on the source of the failure there is a sense of loss, maybe guilt, and certainly deep sadness. Nothing wounds the human spirit like failure. It is a wound, it hurts and like a wound takes time to heal. It is an opportunity and it will either take us to despair or hope.


There is no time when despair is more easy or hope more comforting than in failure. Do we give up or do we look forward in the knowledge that God's grace is greater than our failure and His sovereignty is not diminished by our circumstances. Understanding His goodness and His greatness is the genesis of hope, however small in the pain of failure. Press into Him and that tiny grain of hope will grow. Chuck Colson will tell you that his failure in politics and subsequent jail term was the very thing that forced him to open his heart to hope, in Jesus. Failure is an opportunity for growth! Out of his Colson's failure came a close walk with God, numerous books and the transformation ministry of Prison Fellowship.


Too often we move through life without much inspection of our path or introspection of our heart. Time outs, when we are forced to confront our own weakness and need is a precious gift. If, we take the route of hope and move closer to Jesus.