Failure is Not About Me
What thoughts and feelings come to mind when you think of the word failure? My guess is that the word gift didn't come to mind. But in reality failure is a gift.
God so highly values wisdom that He allows really excellent things to fail for lack of it. Here's what I mean. Say you're organizing a bible study or missions trip. You put together the logistics of when, where and what, but don't use wisdom in recruiting so nobody ends up going. God will allow you to experience failure of not seeing anyone come for the purpose of driving you to get wisdom. (Just to be clear, this is not always true, there are occasions when God does the miraculous when we fail and conversely He allows failure when we pursue wisdom, but by and large wants us to function by wisdom, not passivity.)
Proverbs 2-5 practically shouts at us how important getting wisdom is. But getting wisdom takes a whole ton of effort, it takes intense pursuit. Getting wisdom is putting effort into learning the "practical how to's". Knowledge is knowing information, wisdom is knowing how to use the information you have. But there is no wisdom apart from the Lord, so we need to walk with Him, partnering with Him, letting Him lead us as we seek and learn. This looks like prayer, Lord, how would I ______? Lord, what is the next step? as you are moving forward, actively seeking answers.
Because it glorifies God. God is wise and when we are successful through the use of wisdom we show the world what He like. And because His wisdom is a delight and there is so much joy in discovering, and that discovery leads to "Wow God!" moments, the fear of the Lord, being in awe of Him. It's like that moment you learn something new, say biology, and your mind is blown about how amazingly intricate God is, that is the fear of the Lord which comes from wisdom, what He passionately delights in.
Try, yes, try my dear friend. By the strength and empowerment of the Holy Spirit give your best effort and know that failure is a gift from God to show where we need wisdom. When you fail, recognize it as an area that needs more wisdom and pursue the answers, pursue wisdom. Pursue it as though you were searching for gold. We live in a culture that values getting things easy. And if we are not careful that translates into the Christian culture but said in much more spiritual terms like, "if it's God's will..." God wants us to try and learn and grow and put in the effort to excel. He wants Christians to be leading the way in so many areas like the arts, science, government, education and so on. But it takes excellence. It takes trying and practicing and learning. After all we have the mind of Christ and He wants to give us the gift of wisdom if we would just put the effort in to pursue it.
"If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success." Eccl. 10:10 So where you are unskilled don't let it hinder what God has called you to do, but rather get wisdom.
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has six kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries since 2002 serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 women, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks many times a year. Laura is an author and creator of ministry tools and resources. You can find her books and resources at the Missional Women store and connect with her on facebook,twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram andher author site.
If you'd like to read more from this contributor, type her name in the search box on the top right.
Sharing this over at these awesome blogs
11/9/2014 11:16:18 pm
Laura, I agree we need wisdom, but aren't you missing the larger point? We fail because we are finite creatures living in a world that is largely - some would argue completely - outside our control. I can act with complete wisdom, integrity, diligence and still fail because I am not all powerful, and no amount of prayer, planning or wisdom guarantees success. When I fail God isn't necessarily teaching me that I need wisdom. Perhaps failure serves to remind us that we are dependent creatures in need of a Savior.
11/11/2014 08:35:20 am
Failure certainly can be a gift, and I've seen this mostly in the ways that it's routed me in different directions, helped make me more compassionate toward myself and others, made me less afraid or given me more courage, and yes, reminded me that I am at my best when I'm not leaning on myself to get through life.
Leave a Reply.