Quick question: Is there anybody out there who likes to fail? Anyone? Anybody out there totally okay with failure?
I’m pretty sure there are not many individuals that would raise their hand and admit that they like failure. Personally, failing is definitely very low on my “Favorite Things” list. However, I will admit that it’s something that I do.
When it comes to leading my students and volunteers, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve messed up. Whether it’s failing to communicate information, or failing to make the right decision, failure is one thing that I’ve done a lot of.
I’m just being honest.
One thing that all of my slip-ups have taught me, though, is while failure shouldn’t be our ultimate goal, there is a way to fail well. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
1. Take Responsibility.
Since I’m trying to be as transparent as possible with this blog post, let me just be truthful by saying that in the times I’ve messed up, I have tried so hard to run from that failure. I’ll ask myself, “How can I get out of this? Is there anyone else I can pass the blame to? What excuse can I use to make this look a little better?”
All of those questions are so terribly wrong.
In my opinion, the first step in failing well is to own up to what you did wrong. Admit it. Be honest with others and yourself and take full responsibility when you make a mistake.
2. Remember Grace
In those moments of failure, it can be extremely difficult not to beat yourself up. Yet when I find myself dealing with this very struggle, I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 12. In verses 9-10, Paul says:
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
God’s grace is sufficient. It is enough. His grace is able to cover our weaknesses. Sometimes I literally have to ask the Lord to remind me of this. We are human, we are imperfect, we are going to mess up. When we do, we must always remember that the Lord who loves us is willing to cover us with His grace.
The next time you fail big time, look to the Lord and be reminded that He is gracious and merciful.
3. Move Forward
Ever heard the phrase, “Onward and upward”? It is one I tell myself over and over when I have found myself stuck in the rut of failure.
After you have admitted your mistake and remembered God’s grace, it is time to move forward. What does that mean, exactly?
To move forward is to pray and ask God for direction.
To move forward is to apologize to anyone you have wronged.
To move forward is to look at the misstep and ask how it can be avoided in the future.
To move forward is to choose not to dwell on what you have done.
Refuse to remain in the shadow of that failure and go on.
It would be wonderful if failure were not apart of our lives, ministries, and leadership. Since it is though, it’s important that we remind ourselves that is we are going to fail, we must strive to fail well. We must admit our mistakes, rest in God’s grace, and continue on.
It’s all apart of the journey, friend.