I do a series of teachings to encourage followers of Christ on the subject of failure. "What? Did he use the words 'encourage' and 'failure' in the same sentence?" Yes I did. "How in the world can failure encourage someone? I mean I failed, right?" The truth is all of us have failed, and all of us have failed quite a bit. What does it mean to fail? Generally speaking to fail means "to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved." (dictionary.com).
If you're like me and everyone else on this planet, you've attempted things and fallen short of success. Falling short of success doesn't make you a failure though. Falling short of achieving something you attempt does not make you a failure. Everyone fails at something at some time or another. Failing does not make you a failure. Failing, which is a part of life, is one of life's greatest teachers!
Listen to me carefully. God doesn't create failures! God creates winners! But all winners have failed. My entire life was a failure before I met Jesus. It was failure that woke me up and pointed me to Jesus. He didn't reject me as a failure when I cried out to Him. No...he ran to me, picked me up, and set me on the path of success, chock full of second (third, fourth, fifth, etc.) chances; the path of infinite mercy and grace. And even as an avid follower of Jesus, I still fail. I have failed many times. But since I am convinced Jesus won't throw me away (because the Book says it), I refuse to quit!
Most people would agree that Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest Presidents of the United States. Did you know that between the years of 1832 and 1860 Abraham Lincoln had 11 major failures in his life? I'm not talking about missing the trash can with a wad of paper. These were big time failures. Most of these failures involved his political career. In addition, during that period of time he had a nervous breakdown and had to deal with the death of his sweetheart. I truly believe Abraham Lincoln learned from his failures. Again, he is without a doubt considered one of the most (if not the most) successful of U.S. Presidents. I am glad he didn't quit!
I'm sure you've heard of Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). When Colonel Sanders was 65 years old, he received his first social security check of approximately $100. He was busted! His only asset was a secret recipe for frying chicken. He left his home in Kentucky and traveled the U.S. looking for people to buy his recipe. At times he also offered his secret recipe to restaurants for absolutely nothing! Over and over he got "the boot" from restaurant owners and managers. More than 1,000 restaurants "showed him the door" without cutting a deal. But....on his 1,009th offer, someone purchased his secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices. The rest is history. I have been in Hyderabad, India and eaten several meals at KFC! It's still finger-lickin' good!
You may have failed...but you are not a failure. Make your failures work for you. Let them be your teachers. You may have attempted things and not succeeded. Try again. Learn from your failures, but don't quit. I am so encouraged almost daily by a particular Scripture. "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." (Galatians 6:9) You may grow weary. You may fail. Just don't quit...because your harvest will come!
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