I am working on a writing project called Sifting Through the Sands of Failure with my husband. During our discussion over various topics that would fit in this project, we discovered an continuous theme in each one…consequences of failure lead to wisdom.
I want to briefly share a few thoughts from a recent reflection on our discussion.
- We learn faithfulness from the consequences of our mistakes. If we seek to avoid the consequences, we miss out on an opportunity for growth. We grow because we learn how to lift our heads and seek ways to avoid making the same mistakes again. We learn to release ourselves from self-recrimination and self-doubt. We forgive ourselves and release anyone we may blame. We know that as we choose our own actions, we choose to accept the fallout of the mistakes we make.
- Forgiveness doesn’t wipe away the memory or the lesson that comes from failure, hurt, or disappointment; it releases the humiliation of being found out. When we recover from our embarrassment, we can then evaluate the process that lead failure. Failure is a process just like restoration and success. If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that we ignored warning signs along the way to our mistake.
- Wisdom is taking what we’ve experienced and using the lesson to shape future decisions. This involves seeing or observing the journey to failure and mapping out a plan to avoid similar setbacks.
- Failure is a waste if it doesn’t result in wisdom.
This lesson reminds me of a song I heard recently. The artist, Tauren Wells, says that God is Lord of the hills and valleys in our lives and if He placed on the mountain or in the valley He is with us. Jesus was all about teaching. He didn’t just teach about the sweet and good things (hills), He also used the failures and disappointments of others (valleys).
The Creator of the universe
Isn't surprised by where we are or what we do
He always knew
How we would choose.
The Creator knows how to deliver
Help isn't far away.
Hope is blowing in
On the winds of His angles.
As God of hills and valleys, He has a purpose for where ever we are. We should be quick to look for the lesson or purpose for our current situation, whether we are up or down. We should ask God to show us how to share what we’ve learned from every experience of success and failure. Our journeys through failures and successes aren’t just for us, they are to bless others. When we share our successes, we give hope to others’ dreams. When we share our failures and the lessons we learned from them, we give hope that we all have power to overcome.
Thank the Lord for the hills and the valleys, and ask Him for wisdom to understand the lesson and purpose for the journey.
Hills & Valleys by C. Mosley
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.