For all people from different walks of life, the same is always true when it comes to failure: it will happen. There is not one person on earth that has not experienced the sting of failure. Even the most successful, influential, wealthy and powerful people have experienced and even continue to experience failure.
Failure in it’s own sense does not slow us down or stop us from success. John Maxwell in his book, “Failing Forward,” shares this insight: “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” Our failure does not affect our success. What affects it is simply our response to failure. Are we going to dwell on it and let it determine our future or are we going to keep going?
Philippians 3:13-14 says, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
When faced with failure and setback, we are faced with the option of holding on to that failure or making the resolution to learn from it, leaving it and moving forward without remorse.
“Forgetting what lies behind” does not mean completely ignoring our failures and mistakes. There is so much value to taking the lessons from setback, but there are aspects of failure that are best left in the past such as the pain, remorse, fear and anticipation that comes with failure. We cannot prevent failure from happening, but we can control our attitude towards it and the decisions we make after experiencing a setback.
When failures happen to you, what do you often focus on most? Do you focus on the mistake, the loss, the humiliation or the regret? Or do you tend to focus more on the opportunity, the adjustments, the prize and the power that is now in Christ? In fact, so many times we find it hard to bounce back from a loss and it’s probably because we are too focused on how we are possibly going to get back up instead of focusing on what the cross promises us now.
Jesus once said that we will always have tribulation, trials, setbacks, but in the same light He tells us that there is a comeback waiting for us because He has now overcome. We can and will experience a greater comeback after setbacks because God can and will give you the strength to push through. But the decision is yours at the end of the day as to whether you will choose to focus on your shortcomings or on the hope and power that is made available through Christ to persevere through any trial despite your deepest shortcomings.