Failed? Learn from it!

imprrh@gmail.com —  November 21, 2012

            Why is it important to learn from our failures? Here are three reasons.

            1. Demonstrates our intelligence. Proverbs 18:15 says,

“Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.”

            It may seem strange, but we demonstrate our intelligence by admitting that we are not that smart and don’t know it all! Someone has said that the definition of a crazy person is one who repeats the same action time after time, expecting different results. A smart person analyzes his mistakes looking for learning opportunities and, after failing, becomes wiser, having learned from the experience. Nothing exemplifies a smart person better than one who learns the lesson the first time.

            2. Impacts our behavior.
Psalm 119:7 tells us, “As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!”

            Failure is a great teacher. One lesson we learn is that deficiencies in our character impact our behavior. Failure is a great way to find out where your growth areas are, and we all have them. For example, behind most failed relationships are bad decisions that were motivated by character flaws and expressed in less-than-ideal actions. When we learn from failure, we grow, and that helps us to think twice before we make the same mistakes.

            3. Brings honor to our lives. Finally, Proverbs 1:9 teaches us,

“What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.”

            How do you describe an honorable person? According to this particular text, that title belongs to someone who is willing to learn from others, including from their mistakes. Instead of an L for Loser in the forehead, he carries an H for Honor around his neck. Some of the people I most admire and honor in my life are the ones who are willing to admit when they have failed. I also seem to lose some respect for leaders who hide, excuse, or minimize their deficiencies or mistakes. Do you want to become a person of honor? Admit, understand, learn, and move on!

            This might come as a surprise to you, but Thomas Edison wasn’t always considered a genius. In fact he had reason to play the victim card. His fourth grade teacher, at the end of the school year, did not promote him to the fifth grade. Instead she held him back and said about the young lad, “Thomas is dumb and cannot learn.” Isn’t it interesting how failure can motivate some people to achieve greatness, while in others it’s an excuse for mediocrity? The decision is up to you. Remember, just because you failed, that doesn’t make you a failure.


 

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