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Dealing with Failure (3 of 3)

Mike Connell

Page 7 of 9
So when you look at it, you see Adam just covered it up. Usiah, he made a mistake. He just got angry and bullied everyone. Elijah, well Elijah just withdrew, got depressed, withdrew and hid in a cave. Moses, he just ran away, all kinds of things that people did. Peter, Peter wept bitterly, just had a great howly-bag. He went out and cried, see? It's interesting in the Bible, it tells you what they did when they failed; and then of course there's Judas who went out and hanged himself. You're not encouraged to repeat his failure [laughter] by any means. [Laughs] Bit permanent wasn't it - but what do you do? What do you do when you've made a mistake, or done something wrong? Do you cover it and conceal it, try and hide it, minimise it, blame, shift, deny - what do you do when something's gone wrong? Well we're just honest and say: oh, I really messed that up. That's so hard for Christians to say: I really messed that up, but you know, if we could just say: I really messed that up, then you know the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, though he fall, the Lord will uphold him.

So now I've owned up, at least now I've got God on my side to help me - but if I won't own up, then God's not on my side to help me. He's just going to let me experience some bad consequences now, and get very embarrassed. So what is it you do? What do you do when something goes wrong? When someone points it out, do you get really defensive and angry and react, and try and shut it down, or blame and minimise? What do you do? Well it tells you something about yourself, so just have a think what you do next time someone points out something wrong; evaluate what you felt and what you did. Then you'll see what's going on in your life, whether you are growing, and able to take on greater challenges of faith. If we won't take ownership of where we did go wrong, we fail to learn, and learning is God's goal for us. He has got the remarkable ability to take any situation we've been through, and use it to get us where He wants us to get.

That's the amazing thing about God. It doesn't matter how you blew it, doesn't matter what went wrong, God can take your mistake and failure. Yes, you may have pain, and some inconvenience, and some discomfort, and some reaping for many, many years, but He can still turn it around, and use it to get you where He always wanted you to go. That's the one wonderful thing about Him; but He can only do it if you'll come clean, admit it and bring it out in the open, and we have to do that. So what do you do? Then the thing is, you've got to learn from your failure; what can I learn about myself? What can I learn? Where did I go wrong? What did I do right? What did I do wrong? What can I learn from it? What can I do better? Where have I messed up? I wonder why I messed up? Why did I do that? Do I do that all the time? You just have to start to ask some things about what can I learn, and you'll be surprised what you can learn, if you think about where you went wrong - and surprised the things you can learn.

The Bible's very clear, Proverbs 24 it tells us, this man looked, and he saw this guy who'd made mistakes. He said: I looked, and I observed, and I learnt, so we can learn from other's failures, we can learn from our own. The Bible for example is full of people who failed; why don't you go find out how and why they failed, so you don't make the same mistakes, learn from them. Another thing we need to do if we fail is, we need to actually receive forgiveness. Proverbs 28 again it tells us in Verse 18: if we confess and forsake, then we shall find or receive mercy; so we need to learn to receive forgiveness. Now the problem to receive forgiveness, it starts off you've got to actually come up front, and talk about your problem to God. You've got to talk to Him. Most people, about the best they come up with is: I'm sorry God. Well that's a start, but you know, it's helpful if you actually talk about what you're sorry about. Most people when they say: I'm sorry, what they really mean is: blow, I got caught out. [Laughter] I'm sorry! That's all they mean. I'm sorry. That's why they weep. I'm sorry. Yeah, we're all sorry too, but it doesn't mean to say that there's going to be a change.