We have many teachers in our life and many lessons to be learned. We can learn from the books we read. We can gain wisdom from the experiences of others. Our knowledge can grow from the counsel of one who is more mature. Yet nothing can beat the insight gained from walking through our own failures. James 3:2 says, “We all stumble in many ways.” And it’s the way we handle those setbacks that will show the growth in our life.
We really have two choices. First, you could reside in your failures, refusing to learn from your mistakes and dooming yourself to continue them. “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). Although it’s unhealthy, we sometimes dwell in our failures, our sin, and never really learn from the mistake.
On the other hand, you can choose to fail forward. Examining ourselves daily (2 Corinthians 13:5), we can become wiser after each mistake, learning the steps we need to take to keep from stumbling again. This decision truly begins with humility. An honest assessment of yourself will reveal that there’s always room for improvement.
How do you respond to failure? Do you humbly admit the mistake or try to cover it up? When God pricks your conscience, do you ask for forgiveness or resist his rebuke? Answering these questions is very important in determining whether we grow or regress. Choose to fail forward and choose to make God a part of the process.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”