Learning From Failure
Peter was a man of great faith and bold action. But as readers of the New Testament know, his brash style sometimes led him to make humiliating mistakes. More than once, this disciple had to wear the label of “miserable failure” rather than that of “obedient servant.”
We can all relate when it comes to falling short of expectations. Obedience to God is a process—something we learn. And failure is a part of our development as humble servants. When we yield to temptation or rebel against God’s authority, we realize that sin has few rewards, and even those are fleeting.
Failure is an excellent learning tool, as Peter could certainly attest. Through trial and error, he discovered that one should never take his eyes off Jesus (Matt. 14:30); God’s plan must always have priority over man’s (16:21-23; John 18:10-11); and humility is required of believers (13:5-14). He took each of those lessons to heart and thereby grew stronger in his faith. Isn’t that Romans 8:28 in action? God caused Peter’s failures to be put to good use as training material because the disciple was eager to mature and serve.
God doesn’t reward rebellion or wrongdoing. However, by His grace, He blesses those who choose repentance and embrace chastisement as a tool for growth.
We would all prefer to grow in our faith without ever making a mistake, but we cannot deny that missteps are instructive. Failure teaches us that it is much wiser to be obedient to the Lord. That’s a lesson we all should take to heart.
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