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A Biblical Look at Failure

This is the second guest Blog from Neil T. Anderson, author of more than fifty books. I strongly recommend, Victory over Darkness and Bondage Breaker. Dr. Anderson spoke to us about how we could have freedom from fear. This is an excerpt from that message.

What is failure? Proverbs 24:16 says, “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”

Here’s the core of the issue—a mistake is never a failure unless you fail to learn from it. To stumble is not failure. To stumble and fall again is not a failure. The righteous fall seven times (and in reality, probably a lot more). Failure comes when you don’t take personal responsibility and say you’ve been pushed. You will learn more through your mistakes than you ever will through your successes. That is just part of the growth process.

I never was afraid of making a mistake. God somehow put it in my DNA years ago. It’s just something I’ve learned. I can stumble and not feel badly, I just get up and try again. I don’t feel condemned or guilty. I learn.

It’s like this young executive realized when he was going to replace “the old man,” the most esteemed man in his profession. The young man was a little bit nervous about that so he said, “Sir, how do you account for your great success?”

The “old man” said, “No mistakes.”

Whoa, thought the younger man. “Well, how do you get to the place where you get no mistakes?”

“A lot of experience.”

“Well, what do you mean by experience?”

“A lot of mistakes.”

The older man knew that mistakes lead to learning and maturing. Trying to be perfect leads to condemnation and bondage.

Remember this (from my book Freedom from Failure):

To try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing.


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