Don't be put off by failures

By SIEGFRED T. GOLLAYAN

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THE WAY TO SUCCESS is not an easy trek. Obstacles and setbacks are to be expected. Riding a bike, as they say, is not always downhill—there are also uphill trails.

Indeed, we sometimes fail in what we do. And the sad thing about it is that we can’t go back in time to change the course of events. We are left to face the consequences of our mistakes whether or not you are brave enough to do so.

There are those who, when they do something wrong and fall short of what is expected of them, shy away from new challenges. They end up sulking rather than tapping their potentials, thereby missing many opportunities for personal growth and betterment. Meanwhile, some allow their past failures to drag them down until, one day, they find themselves pinned down, unable to get up from the slump. They could only wish that things would change for the better.

Although the fact remains that we can never turn back the hands of time, we can still do the best we can to make amends for the wrongs we have done. But first, we have to accept that we are susceptible to making mistakes:

“There is no one on earth who does what is right all the time and never makes a mistake.” (Eccles. 7:20 Good News Bible)

Even great people of yore have had fallen short and had failed at certain instances in their lifetime. David had done wrong when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband, Uriah (II Sam. 11:1-27); Moses failed to show a good example to Israel when he displayed lack of confidence in God by striking the rock at Meribah twice with Aaron’s staff instead of obeying His command to speak to the stone for water to come out to quench the thirst of the Israelites (Num. 20:1-13); Samson made a grave mistake when he married and had relationship with non-Israelites that eventually led him to violate his Nazirite restrictions (Judg. 14:1-3; 16:1-22); and Job admitted that he, too, had committed error (Job 19:4).

Don't be put off by failures

Like those mentioned above, we should not be put off by failures. David paid dearly with the life of his child but instead of rebelling, he repented and accepted God’s punishment (II Sam. 12:1-15)—he was recognized as one of the greatest of the warrior kings of Israel. Moses moved on and continued to lead God’s nation—he presided over them until his death before they entered the Promised Land (Deut. 32:45-52; 34:1-12). Samson repented and silently cried for God’s mercy—sacrificing his own life, he was able to slay his enemies and the enemies of Israel, the Philistines (Judg. 16:23-31). Job never turned from God despite the hardships that he suffered—he then received favor from God, who doubled his wealth and blessed him with children once again (Job 42:1-6, 10-17).

Instead of constantly blaming ourselves, we should realize that what happened then should serve as a learning experience for us. As such, we can avoid making the same mistakes again, make better decisions in the future, and lead better lives. By doing so, we have squeezed out something positive from our failures. The Bible reminds us, thus:

“Once again give them this message from the Lord: ‘When a person falls, he jumps up again; when he is on the wrong road and discovers his mistake, he goes back to the fork where he made the wrong turn’.” (Jer. 8:4 Living Bible)

As we move on, there will still be obstacles along the way. Find out the vital lessons embedded in our past experiences and use them to do things correctly the next time around. Let us not perpetuate wrongdoings but instead do what is right and carry on. Apostle Paul explains that “… we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans” (Rom. 8:28 LB).

Above all, let us entrust to God all our plans and undertakings, for He holds the key to our success (Ps. 16:3). By placing our trust in Him, we can be confident to bounce back from our mistakes. According to His purpose, let us remember that “all things work together for the good” (Rom. 8:28 God’s Word).

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