Turning Failure into Triumph
“A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful” (Proverbs 28:13 TLB).
We usually think of failure as something negative. But wise people know how to take advantage of it. They learn from it. They use it as an education. Failure is one of the primary tools that God uses in your life to make you what he wants you to be.
How can failure be good? God uses failure to educate us. Mistakes are simply learning experiences. Some lessons can only be learned through failure. The Bible says, “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful” (Proverbs 28:13 TLB).
If you’re not making any mistakes, you’re not growing or learning. If you’re not taking any risks, you’re not growing. The freedom from the fear of failure is the freedom to grow.
God uses failure to motivate us. “Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways” (Proverbs 20:30 GNT). Often we change when we feel the heat, not when we see the light. When you fail, God may be trying to get your attention to move you into a new direction.
God uses failure to build our character. “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character” (Romans 5:3-4 TLB).
Failure has a way of softening our hearts. It helps us grow up and become mature. It makes us more sensitive to others. It makes us less judgmental and helps us be a little more sympathetic to people around us who are hurting.
Failure doesn’t automatically grow your character. Failure just makes some people bitter. But failure builds your character when you respond to it correctly and learn from it.
Talk It Over
Think back to one of your worst failures. What did you learn from that failure?
How has failure motivated you to make a move or transition that ended up being something good?
How have you seen your own character—or the character of someone else—transformed by failure?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.