Author: Rick Warren
No one's life is an unbroken chain of victories. We all experience setbacks...defeats... Losses...failures. Nobody bats 100%. 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.
Although the reasons for failure are numerous, there 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 are 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 had 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
In next week's email I'll share how to get a fresh start when you've failed. In the meantime remember this: Failure is never final unless you let it be. You are never a failure until you give up.
Until next week...
1. What area of your life or in your job might you see as a failure? Does God see it the same way?
2. How can you support others through common reasons for failure and how can they support you?
3. What was something you thought was a failure butturned into one of your greatest successes?