Failure Is Never Final
"As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust."1
Yesterday—or any other day—may have been the final day of your divorce, the day you were rejected, or the day you lost or buried a loved one; but as difficult as it seems right now, and as extremely sad as it is, in time it can become a day of new beginnings. Be gentle with yourself but do begin the grieving process as soon as possible so you will be able to resolve your pain. To do this effectively, there are several valuable qualities that will help you to face the future as uncertain as it may seem right now.
1. Have the right attitude. Attitude is what makes the difference between a painful experience becoming a failure or a success. You can allow your experience to leave you timid and afraid to step out again for fear of being hurt, or you can determine that your loss will be your teacher.
True, we need mountaintop experiences from time to time to encourage us, but we don't grow through these. It's in the valley of disappointment that we are given the opportunity to take stock of our life and move toward a greater level of growth and maturity.
2. Know what your God-give life purpose is. The more clearly defined that purpose—and the more deeply it is embedded in your conscious and unconscious mind—the less loss will set you back. A spacecraft en route to the moon is off course 90 percent of the time. It is pulled back by the earth's gravity and is continually drawn to one side or the other by additional forces. But it has a built-in computer that has a singleness of purpose that hones in on the moon. The computer is making continual corrections to keep the spacecraft on target with its purpose and goal.
Life is like that. If our eye is on our goal, if we have a singleness of purpose, nothing will stop us getting to where we plan to go.
3. If you failed in a relationship or in some other venture, remember that failure is an event, not a person. Because you failed doesn't mean that you are a failure as a person. Not at all. The only real failure is not to try again, or not to get up one more time than you've fallen down. The important thing is to learn from your failures, to use these as opportunities to grow, and to move ahead to a more fulfilling and richer life.
4. Give God a chance. If you feel like you have failed, or believe you've done wrong, ask God to forgive you—and be sure to forgive yourself. And then, with God's help, turn your failure into a stepping stone toward a better you.
Where a bone is broken and heals, it becomes the strongest part of the bone. The same is true of your broken places—where you have been hurt, have fallen and failed, or are afraid. When you bring these to God for His healing, His strength is made perfect through your weakness.2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to use every disappointment, loss, and setback that happens to me to help me grow and become a better, more loving, and mature person. And lead me to the help I need to do so. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Psalm 103:13-14 (NIV).
2. Adapted from the chapter: "Failure Is Never Final" in How to Mend a Broken Heart by Dick Innes. You can read more about this book and order it from http://www.actscom.com/store.