3 Benefits of Failure


We usually think of failure as being a negative experience, but wise people know how to take advantage of failure.  They learn from it. They make the most of it. They use it as an education.

One of the primary tools that God uses in your life to make you what He wants you to be is failure. What possible good is failure in your life? Three reasons:

1. God uses failure to educate me.  

Mistakes are simply learning experiences. There are some things we only learn through failure. Some of us are highly educated then, aren’t we? For some, that's the only way you learn. How do you learn to become a success? By learning what doesn't work and not doing it any more. We have done more things at Seminole Church that didn't work than did. We're just not afraid of failure here.

If you're not making any mistakes you're not growing. You're not learning. If you make the same mistake every week, now you're in trouble! But, if you're not taking any risks you're not growing. The freedom from the fear of failure is the freedom to grow. God uses failure to educate me.  

2. God uses failure to motivate me.  

A lot of times we change, not when we see the light, but when we feel the heat.  

When you fail, maybe God's trying to get your attention and saying, "I want you to go in a new direction. I don't like you going that way, I want you to go another way."

There's the story of Elijah in the Old Testament where he goes down by the brook and the ravens were coming down and feeding him, the water was there.  But one day the brook dried up and he gets mad. "God, why did the brook dry up?" Sometimes that happens in your life. The brook dries up. The resources aren't there anymore. God said, "It's real simple. I don't want you there anymore." As long as the brook was there, Elijah was going to hang out there. It was comfortable but God said, "I want you to move on!"  So God lights a fire under us. Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.  

3. God uses failure to build my character.

Romans 5:3-4 "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character."  

Failure has a way of softening our hearts. It helps us grow up and be mature. It makes us sensitive to others. Failure makes you less judgmental, helps you be a little more sympathetic to people around you who are hurting. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to live with you if you had an unbroken string of successes? You'd be some pompous jerk! You'd think you had the Midas touch.

God uses failure to cultivate us. Failure does not automatically grow your character. Failure makes some people bitter. Failure only builds your character when you respond to it correctly, when you learn from it, when you grow from it, when you say, "What didn't work here and what can I change?"  


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