October 12th 2009

What To Do With Your Failure

“Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.”

Proverbs 20:30 (GN)

No one’s life is an unbroken chain of victories.  We all experience setbacks, defeats, losses, and failures.  We all make mistakes.

Since failure is common to all of us, one of the most important life-skills you can learn is how to respond to it.   Successful people know how to turn every failure into a learning experience – a stepping stone to future success.  The scripture above could be paraphrased:  ‘No pain, no gain’!

The first thing to do is to analyse why you experienced failure.  Although there may be a variety of reasons – some out of your control – here are five common causes:

When we don’t plan ahead.  As the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”   Proverbs 27:12 says, “A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them.”   Remember, Noah had to start building the Ark long before it started raining!

When we think we’ve “arrived.”  Remember the lesson of the whale: Just when you get to the top, and you start to blow – that’s when you get harpooned!  Proverbs 18:18 says, “Pride leads to destruction and arrogance leads to downfall.”   In other words, the man who gets too big for his britches will be exposed in the end!

When we’re afraid to take necessary risks.  The fear of failure can cause failure.  We worry about what others will think of us if we fail, so we don’t even try.  Fran Tarkenton says, “Fear sets you up to be a loser.”  We fail to take advantage of golden opportunities.  “The fear of man is a dangerous trap.” Proverbs 29:25

When we give up too soon.  Many times, success is just around the corner.  Remember, the game is often won in the final seconds.  If at first you don’t succeed – you’re normal!  Keep on keeping on!   The value of a postage stamp is found in its ability to stick to one thing until it gets there.  “A lazy fellow has trouble all through life.” Proverbs 15:19

When we ignore God’s advice.  The Bible is our owner’s manual for life.  It is filled with practical instructions and guidelines for work, home, finances, relationships, and health. When we fail to follow these, we’re asking for trouble.  “There is a way that SEEMS right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12

Remember this: Failure is never final unless you let it be.  You are never a failure until you give up.


Father in Heaven, you don’t judge failure the same way man does.  Failure is never desirable, but help us to accept, deal with and learn from our failure and then commit our plans to you for future success.


Study by Fraser Murdoch 

0 thoughts on “October 12th 2009

  • Rudyard Kipling’s poem `IF` sprung to mind while reading today’s study about overcoming mistakes and failures in life. No one need ever be a failure if these positive points are applied with God’s help.
    An interesting thought: When the world throws `lemons at you`–turn them into lemonade!! Thanks for the study, Fraser.

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