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Dealing with Failure (3 of 3)

Mike Connell

Summary Notes

· What it means to be an Apostolic people is to recognize the assignment God has.
· Reject the blame game in full and change knowing that you can do something in life.
· In the church the idea was created that Christians cannot fail.
· The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. Every time he fails God gets him back up again.
· God always lifts people up again.
· We all fail, we need to admit that. Take responsibility and acknowledge failure so that God can lift you up and you can change.
· The Bible is full of glorious mistakes and failures.

The Origin of the Blame Game = Failure:
· You need to come to God because your life isn’t right.
· God called Adam and asked 3 questions: ‘Where are you?’, “Who told you that you were naked?’, ‘Did you eat of the fruit of the tree?’
· Genesis 3:7-13 - “The woman who you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate”.
· Blame = to place the responsibility for a failure, mistake on people or circumstances.
· Adam - refused to assume responsibility for his failure.
- He blamed Eve and he blamed God.
- He missed an experience/opportunity to grow.
- When he blamed, God stopped talking.
- He didn’t take responsibility and had to face the consequenses.
· When Adam refused to take responsibility for his failure he experienced full consequences of it.
· Blaming may make you feel better (not responsible) but it does not solve the problem.
· We live in a blame Culture – people fail to assume responsibility.
· The path to empowerment = take responsibility to make things better.

Failures and Mistakes are Certain:
· 1 John 1:10 - “If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His trust is not in us”.
· Two things are certain in life – death and failure/mistakes.
· What ever you are good at now you probably failed the 1st time you tried it.
· Every person fails at some time – you must learn to benefit from mistakes and failures.
· The Bible abounds in Failures of People, e.g.:
· Abraham lied about his wife
· Isaac lied about his wife
· Jacob deceived his father
· Moses murdered a man
· Rahab was a prostitute
· Gidean was full of fear
· Barak lacked courage
· Samson got involved with Delilah
· Jepthah – his mother was a prostitute and he made a foolish vow.
· Yet, in spite of the mistakes the Holy Spirit calls them “Men of Faith” – Hebrews 11
· God sees people not in the light of their mistakes but in the light of their destiny and their response.
· He does not overlook failures but He does not focus on them – He imparts Grace.
· What matters is how people respond! What do you do with your failures?
· We deceive ourselves if we think we cannot fail, we’ll say that God is a liar.
· Deal with mistakes honestly.
· There are magnificent failures and glorious mistake all through the Bible.
· God looked above their failures and each of these people was men and woman of faith and they owned their mistakes.
· Failure = if we handle it right it is a start of a new opportunity.
· With risks will be failure, something could go wrong. We cannot fulfill our destiny if we don’t take any risks.
· Destiny requires faith, and faith requires taking risks.
· Many people think – “you are unacceptable because you have failed”.
· Grace abounds with failure – Handle failure right. We can either help people with a failure mentality in this or we can keep them in their failure by accusations.
· We can either connect to them with Jesus Christ or we can accuse them like Satan.
· Grace = empowerment to get out. Step up and own failures. Come with a massage of hope, faith and that something positive can happen.

Key to Dealing with Failures:
a) Example – David: 1 Chronicles 13:1-14
· David’s failure was a public spectacle – seen by the whole nation.
· He made many mistakes, sometimes thousands died.
· God showed him where he went wrong, but David acknowledged his mistakes and learned from his failures.
· Note: David’s responses:
(1) Anger - 1 Chronicles 13:11
(2) Learned from his experiences – 1 Chronicles 15:11-13
· David did not allow his failures to hold him back from his dream.
· He learned from his failure and became successful.
· All failures/mistakes can be stepping stones to growth if we respond well!

b) Keys to Dealing with Failures:
(1) Own Your Failures – Proverbs 28:18
· Put your arms around it, take it home and become responsible for it.
· If we cover our failures/mistakes we cannot progress or move forward.
· Call it what it is: ‘I failed’, ‘I made a mistake’, ‘I was wrong’, ‘I messed up’ – own your mistakes.
· Pride = I just want to look good.
· Genesis 3:11 - “Adam blamed Eve and God.
· 1 Samuel 13:11-12 - Saul blamed people, circumstances and God. He just wanted to look good.
· 2 Samuel 12:13 - David: ‘I have sinned against the Lord’.
· Don’t hide from failure – embrace it and learn from it.
· Humility – seeing life from Gods point of view.
· Perfectionism – controlling alert for failures, weaknesses, imperfections – unacceptable.
Image conscious – wants to look good at all costs e.g. Saul – 1 Samuel 15:24-25
· Perfectionism = birthed out of failure and pride, and is intolerant of people making mistakes.
· People who own their mistakes are much easier people to relate to.

(2) Evaluate Your Failures – Proverbs 2:2
a) Your Feelings?
· Disappointment? Discouragement? Loss of Hope? Shame? Guilt? Inferior? Ashamed? Disheartened?
· What is going on in your heart?
b) Your Responses?
· How do you respond when you fail? What pattern?
· Bible examples:
- Adam = covered and blamed – Genesis 3:7-11
- Uzziah = got angry, bullied – 2 Chronicles 26:19
- Elijah = depressed, withdraw – 1 Kings 19:4-9
- Moses = ran away – Exodus 3:15
- Peter = wept – Luke 22:62
- Judas = hanged himself – Matthew 27:5
· What do you do? = angry? Blame self? Blame others? Give up? Distract? Deny? Make excuses? Avoid it? Try to compensate by pointing out an area of strength.
· It is hard for Christians to own up to their mistakes. What do you do? Are you growing and taking on new challenges in faith?
· God can take a mistake/failure to turn you around to get you to your destiny and purpose.

(3) Learn from Your Failures – Proverbs 24:30-34
· Use your failure to learn and gain wisdom.
· Questions that could be asked to improve or prevent failure!
What did I do wrong? What did I do right?
What have I missed? What choices did I have?
What weaknesses? What can I learn?
What new skills? What support have I got?

(4) Receive Forgiveness – Proverbs 28:18
· The devil is an accuser – constantly eroding confidence by accusing – Revelation 12:10
· Whatever is condemned/judged gets worse.
· Forgiveness and grace release you to start again.
· To Receive Forgiveness: You must talk to God – honesty – ask forgiveness
You must talk to people – open up – apologize
- no accusations
- seek forgiveness
· Talk to God about your problem, just to say ‘I’m sorry’ is not good enough.
· Just ‘I’m sorry” = ‘blow, I got caught out’.
· Tell Him about it and how grieved you are about injuring the relationship. The Holy Spirit was grieved too - damage to the relationship. ‘Forgive me for grieving the Holy Spirit’.
· People = ‘I am sorry’ is not always good enough. Acknowledge how the relationship was damaged.
· A good meaningful apology acknowledges and understands how a person was hurt.

(5) Move on – Hebrews 10:35-36
a) Go again:
· All great accomplishments require persistence e.g. Moses kept confronting Pharaoh until he got a breakthrough.

b) Have a Funeral – something died, grieve over it, let it go.
· Sometimes you have to admit that something has ended e.g. relationship.
· Genesis 19:26 - Lots wife kept looking back and turned to salt.
· Failure or loss must be grieved over like burying a body.
· God is able to bring good out of all things - Romans 8:28
· Trust Him; Take the first step to a fresh start.
· It is better to learn from little failures by dealing with them, by the time we need to deal with big failures we would know how to.