HANDLING FAILURE SUCCESSFULLY
We begin this teaching with a disclaimer: this teaching is not an excuse for us to live carelessly or recklessly- Romans 6:1-2, we must bear in mind that every action, inaction and decision of ours has its own consequences. But be that as it may, we must also come to terms with the fact that as human beings, we are not completely immune to mistakes and so, that one has made a mistake or even committed a “sin” is not the end of the road for such a one-failure is not final!- 1st John 2:1. It’s bad enough that you have fallen or made mistakes but there is still hope for you! – Ecclesiastes 9:4.
God can still make right your wrong, He can still rewrite your story. If you will allow Him, He can still bring something out of your nothing, He can still give you beauty for your ashes; double for your shame- Isaiah 61:3,7. So there is no need to fall into self-condemnation- John 8:11, Romans 8:1.
Of course the devil and even people around you will constantly remind you of your past mistakes but you must know that God doesn’t consult your past to give you a future- mistakes don’t cancel destiny! Peter and Judas made terrible mistakes of denial and betrayal respectively, while Judas gave-in to self-condemnation and committed suicide; Peter refused to. And see what God made of him.
Moses and Paul are other examples of what God can do with people we would otherwise call absolute failures. We seldom remember these two as murderers by reason of what God did with them. That same God can do yours!
You probably are saying in your mind by now “I have made too many mistakes, what can I do to get out of them”. Well, I like to say to you God has a way of escape for you. As a matter of fact, he has factored in all the possible mistakes you can ever make and has prepared a ready-made solution for you even before you fell. You will recall that the bible tells us that the Lamb of God (Jesus) was slain from the foundation of the world- 1st Peter 1:20 long before Adam and eve sinned. God has you in mind that much. For the purpose of brevity, we will endeavour to summarises God’s recovery plan for you in three steps.
One: RECOGNISE YOUR WRONG, ACCEPT IT, AND REPENT OF IT- Proverbs 28:13, Psalm 32:5. At what point so ever you discover you are wrong, be frank with yourself; stop and make a U-turn. Recovery begins with discovery. The prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 had to come to a point where he admitted that he had missed it and right away he repented. In comparison with Saul’s, David’s errors were far weightier but he knew how to accept his fault and repent instantly. Unlike Saul who would still love to argue his case. The Yorubas say if a child admits his mistakes, his punishment will be little. So there is need for repentance towards God in case of sin and to man too in case of offences. Where there is need for restitution, be sure to do that with the counsel of a pastor and the leading of God. Do not say “I have gone too far, I might just as well go through to the end”- it’s better late than never!
Two: LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES AND TAKE PRECAUTIONARY STEPS NOT TO REPEAT THEM. By drawing lessons from your mistakes, you are turning them into experience which of course is valuable. You can now arm yourself with this experience against future occurrences and also to help others. So be sure not to discard your mistakes, go through them and see what you did that you shouldn’t have done and what you didn’t do that you should have done. This is necessary because until you learn from your mistake, you stand the chance of falling into the same mistake again or even worse ones- John 5:14. Once you have learnt from it, it then becomes easy to take steps not to repeat it. One example of someone who never learnt from his mistake was Samson. Going through his story has recorded between Judges 13-16, you will discover that he kept on falling into sexual immorality until it finally finished him.
Last but not the least: PRAYER (COMMIT YOURSELF INTO THE HANDS OF GOD AND WATCH HIM REPAIR YOU). Like surgery, it might not be palatable, but at the end you will come out fine. So in the place of prayer, you transfer your faults and mistakes to God as one would a broken vessel of clay to a potter- Jeremiah 18:1-6. As you through faith and prayer commit your life to God, He will begin to re-mold and repair it so much so that it will be difficult to believe your past- John 14:7. Your case cannot be too bad for God to handle, men might have written you off but not God; If you will allow Him, He will give you a new song. It may not happen in a day, a week or a year but sooner than later, God will make all things beautiful for you! Ecclesiastes 3:11, Romans 8:28
I see God rewriting your story, I see you singing a new song!
President, The Teacher Ministries
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