I once asked a friend this question: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase Ingest every lesson?
She laughed and said, “Heartburn.”
Although my friend was only kidding, she was onto something. When we ingest something, we take it in and absorb all it has to offer.
For example, to live, we must take in food so our bodies can get the nutrients they need. If we don’t get the nutrients we need, our bodies won’t grow or function properly. And as we all know, the very thing our bodies need to survive can sometimes cause heartburn.
Heartburn is uncomfortable. It’s troublesome. And it can keep you up at night.
When I have heartburn, all I want to do is find something to extinguish the fire in my chest so I can forget about it and go back to sleep. (Praise Jesus for antacids!) Much like heartburn, our failures are painful, troublesome, uncomfortable to think about, and sometimes they do keep us up at night.
Trying to forget our failures will only stunt our growth. Click To Tweet
Learning from our failures works the same way. To learn, we must take in knowledge. If we want to learn from our mistakes, we’ll need to evaluate them.
Learning from our mistakes can be a painful process, but if we try to forget or ignore our faults, we will only stunt our growth. The knowledge we gain from evaluating our failures will be uncomfortable, but it will help us to do better.
Can I be honest? Thinking about my mistakes makes me cringe. When I make a mistake, I would prefer to extinguish the pain by ignoring it or forgetting it ever happened. But I’ve come to realize that if I want to grow, improve, and do better, I have to be willing to examine my failures.
The good news is that we aren’t in this by ourselves.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
John 16:33, Jesus tells us we will face trouble in this world. What kind of trouble? All kinds. Including the type called Failure. But Jesus doesn’t leave us without hope. What does he say we will have in him despite the trouble we will face in this world? Peace.
It’s hard to step back and look at our mistakes, but we don’t have to do it alone. God will supply us with the strength we need (Isaiah 40:29).
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.” As we learn to depend on the Lord’s strength rather than our own, he provides us with the peace we need to face our shortcomings. And once we can meet these shortcomings head-on, we’ll be able to seek God with a willing heart and ask for help.
What if we saw our mistakes as detours that offer growth opportunities instead of dead ends that lead to nowhere? Click to Tweet
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” God wants us to come to him for direction, but as the text goes on to say in James 1:6, he expects us to trust and apply that wisdom. If we utilize the wisdom God freely provides, we can be more successful in the areas we have been trying forget. It won’t be easy, and we will probably still mess up. But with the Lords’ help, we can start to look at our mistakes as detours that offer growth opportunities instead of dead ends that lead to nowhere.
Lord your word tells me not to be anxious about anything (Phil. 4:6-7) Help me remember to bring my requests to you so that I can rest in your perfect peace. Please give me the strength and courage to evaluate my shortcomings so that I can learn from them. When I do fall short, help me to grow from my mistakes and apply what I have learned. Lord, I thank you that I can depend on your strength to carry me through the troubles I face. I ask that you guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus so that His power burns bright enough in me for all to see. In Jesus, name Amen!
Thank you Thank you for joining me for part three of When The Answer Is To Fail. I hope and pray these words will fill you with the hope and encouragement you need as you learn to turn failures into successes.
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