5 Ways You Can Turn Failure into Opportunities to Grow
A More Excellent Way
Alexander Pope said, “To err is human”. You are human, so you will make errors! Accept that as your reality. On your journey in life, you will fail, most likely, you will fail many times.
In our fast paced world, we dread failure. Within the Church, we are quick to judge others who fall, and we are especially harsh in our judgment if we are the one who has fallen.
I want to encourage you. There is a more excellent way for you to become who you were created to be, walking out of failure and into victory.
1. To fail is not to be a failure
That failure is not the defining moment of your life. It is not your identity. While failing hurts and may be humbling, it is not who you are. It is merely part of the process of life as you grow into the person God created you to be.
Focus on your true identity in Christ Jesus. At salvation, you died to the old way of thinking and living. Today, your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
Claim and speak truth over your life. You are the chosen of God. Before the foundation of the world, He knew every mistake you would make and yet, He chose you. His love for you is unfailing. Nothing can separate you from His love. You are His Beloved.
2. Separate from the area where you failed
Make a division between the failure and yourself. Once you make a separation between you and where you failed, you will be able to think with clarity and learn what happened to cause the failure.
It is important to be objective as you make a new beginning. Don’t give up. By faith, keep on moving forward.
3. Choose to take responsibility for what happened
A failure, a mistake, a sin, whatever you wish to call it – is not you. The failure is in the past, just a moment in time. Don’t personalize it and don’t own it as part of who you are.
Here’s the bottom line! Take responsibility for your choices and for the outcome, but don’t see yourself as the failure.
To identify with failure opens the door for the enemy to assault your personhood and insinuate you are to blame. As you feel you are bad or at fault, your hope of redemption fades.
In danger, trying to escape, you blame others and see them as being at fault. Blame leads to the bondage of bitterness and broken relationships.
There is a big problem! The brain identifies fault as something nebulous, like a fault line. If you live near a serious fault line, you will move to stay safe. If the fault line moves closer to where you live, you again move – to be safe. But you aren’t responsible for the fault line; its beyond your ability to control. When you don’t move away from the fault line and you explode – your brain perceives your explosion as being like an earthquake that you don’t have control over.
Blaming or fault finding leads to “if only”. If only I had moved, there wouldn’t have been an explosion. Finding fault robs you of your ability to change and your ability to take responsibility for your choices. That locks you into a box and makes you a helpless victim.
Rather than move into blame or fault finding, take responsibility for where you made a mistake.
Remember. You are far more than your failure!
4. Be free to step outside of the box
Jesus doesn’t confine you into a box when you fail. Ask Him to help you see failure as an opportunity to grow, develop, and become stronger in Him.
When we are personally involved, we’re too close and can’t see clearly. Its easier to to see with clarity when a friend makes a mistake, than it is to have clarity about our own failures.
Try stepping out of the box to look at what led up to the failure as if another person did it. Allow yourself to learn from the “mistake”. The box ties you to the failure. But as you step out of the box, you can separate that failure from yourself and learn to look at it from a different angle.
Once outside the box, you are free to see that mistake, that failure, even that sin as an opportunity. Rather than holding you down, locking you into a prison, it will become a stepping stone to growth.
5. Remember there is no condemnation if you are in Christ
This was an important lesson for me, because I was prone to condemn myself to failure. Paul said, if you walk according to the truth taught by the Holy Spirit, because you are in Jesus, He will set you free from every word of condemnation.
God’s words to you are yes and amen in Christ Jesus. He does not condemn you; when you were born again by His Spirit, He set you free from the law of sin and death.
Condemnation comes from the Accuser. Do not join his attack against you with words of self-condemnation.
So what’s the solution? Learn to forgive yourself and speak to yourself with compassion. Your brain listens to every word you speak. It takes your words as Gospel truth; it cannot discern the truth from the lie. If you speak harshly to yourself, your brain believes you and locks you into that lie as if it is truth.
My friend, you and I are commanded to love, even as Christ has loved us (John 15:12). Jesus doesn’t speak words of condemnation to your friend, your loved one, or to you. So speak words of life to others and to yourself!
The secret to overcoming failure? Be careful of your self talk. Mistakes and failures do not define you. To embrace a lie is to reject the wonderful words of life and freedom Jesus has spoken over you.
Love edifies; it builds up. Be kind and don’t tear yourself down. It is for freedom you have been set free.
I encourage you to walk in freedom; use your failures as opportunities to grow in intimacy with the Lord. As you do, the Holy Spirit will grow you into a beautiful person of excellence and strength of character.
God bless you in your journey into freedom.