Failure – those times when I don't achieve my expected results. I feel awful and my heart grows weary. In our world, the emphasis on and expectations of success – academically, financially, and socially – are so great that the thought of failure can produce profound dread.

Yet some of my life's hardest and best lessons have been "seeming failures" yielding the deepest and most profound moments of personal growth and productivity. Examples abound not only in my life but from others as well.

  • Michael Jordon's failure to make his junior high school basketball team provided motivation and character to develop into one of basketball's greatest players.
  • Post-it notes resulted from a failed attempt to create a new kind of glue and a person's recognition of potential good from failure.

Obviously, the pain of failure is not to be minimized. But often in my life, those times of failure and disappointment produced a different conclusion when viewed differently.

Following Jesus offers similar opportunities for maturation through challenges which seemingly mimic failure. Spiritual victory is often built on the foundation of

  • Trials of many kinds (James 1:2-4)
  • Physical suffering (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
  • Emotional pain (Matthew 5:11-12)

yielding a life of faith and godliness that can not be produced any other way.

Failure can be the preparation for success if only we can view it from God's perspective – tough lesson for me to learn today!


Sharing the journey with you,

Bob Snyder