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Why We Must Talk About Failure

Failure.

Just thinking about that word makes me cringe. I think I can honestly say that there is nothing that I hate more than failing. And sadly, I fail a lot…

…every day it seems.

I set goals for myself – to eat right, treat my spouse with more kindness, not get frustrated with my kids. But it seems like the bar is constantly moving and I am consistently failing.  And my business life is no better. I set many goals each month and I may meet a few of them, but I regularly fail to meet goals as well.

So, what do we do with all this failure? Is there anything GOOD about failing?

Well, after years of failing, I’m happy to report — there is HOPE in failing.

I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true. God uses our failures to develop our perseverance in life, allow us to practice patience {thanks, God!}, and to mold us into the people He wants us to be. Each failure in our life is a notch on our…

 …’becoming-more-like-Christ’ belt.

1 Peter 3:15 tells us, “…we must be always ready with an answer when asked the reason for the hope that we have.”  I don’t know about you, but each failure that God has walked me through has become part of my answer.

A couple of years ago I put my business up for sale. I was convinced that it was what I wanted and I was pretty-almost-sure that it was what God wanted, too. We caught the eye of a buyer and thought the sale was for sure. A week later the deal fell through.

I was devastated.

The failure to make this deal made me feel like I was, at my core, a failure.

But, as God walked me through that failure, He began to open my eyes to beauty in the midst of the loss. God used the failure I experienced to reignite a passion within me for my business. As my passion grew, my business grew – and it has doubled in size since that time.

Without that failure and that precious time with God as He walked me through the pain, I’m not sure where my business would have ended up. I can tell you, though, that I’ve had the opportunity to share that experience with many others who have found themselves in a place of failure and disappointment. I’m able to share with them the hope that can be found shining through…

…in those moments of despair.

And that is exactly why we MUST talk about our failures. Stuffing them down and hoping no one ever finds out we’ve failed is a losing battle.

We all fail.
We all face disappointments.
We all mess up.

And it’s ok.

The apostle Paul was a Christian killer before God met him on the road to Damascus. Talk about failure! He thought he was pleasing God when in fact he was doing the very opposite. And yet in Phillipians chapter three, Paul explains how he handled that failure:

“…forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 3:13-14

We all fail.

Let’s get a dialogue going and admit our failures to one another with the purpose of building each other up in the faith, encouraging each other to “strive toward the prize.”

Question: What has been your biggest failure? How has God redeemed it and used it for His glory? Share you comment by clicking here.

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AboutJill Hart

Jill Hart's entrepreneurial career began in her teens when she spent a summer working with her father who ran his own business. When he put her in charge of a Coke machine and allowed her to keep the profits, she saw the benefits of being her own boss. She is the founder of the popular Christian work-at-home website, CWAHM.com. Jill has articles published in In Touch Magazine, P31 Woman magazine and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family, as well as across the web on sites like DrLaura.com. She is the author of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom and speaks to audiences around the country about faith, business and leadership topics.
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Comments

  1. Heather says:

    Well who is to say what IS a failure? My dear mother-in-law says ” nothing ventured, nothing gained!.” She was mostly speaking of experimenting in the kitchen but I think this advice can be applied to all life situations. To say you failed sounds to final and harsh, rather think you tried and it will need some correction or tweaking to get it just how I want it. My brother and sister-in-law have raised an amazing young woman who is now 16 and the best advice they have offered her is “always do your best.” You can NEVER fail if you always do your best in God’s name.

  2. Deborah says:

    Defining failure is certainly subjective. As with you, my past ‘misses’ have been a process of molding, melding, learning, redoing, and growing…and we’re better for it :)

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