How to Turn Failure into Growth

by Jacob Abshire on January 8, 2015

We have failures because we have goals and flaws. If we were to reach perfection, we would have no cause for failure, nothing to help us grow, nothing to reveal our need for Christ.

Maybe I’m being too buoyant, but I think we can use our failures as steps to reach our goals. In fact, I hope I can show you a way to turn your failure into growth and glorify God.

Write your failures out. I like to write stuff down (or at least type it up) because it helps me be real. There is something about writing and seeing it that says, “Take me seriously.” Somehow, that is exactly what my brain does.

During a quiet time where I can think clearly, I start to write down my failures. I include those things where I just settled for less. (In my mind, this is merely failure to commit in politically correct terms.)

Write your reasons out. For each failure, I’m sure to give myself some space below it because I want to list some of the reasons. These are important because I need to be clear about why it happened. Without clarity on why, it is nearly impossible to overcome a failure. I’ve found that being vague leads to repetition.

While I’m listing these failures and their reasons, I’m becoming quite familiar with myself. I’m seeing patterns. I’m seeing fear. I’m also seeing sin. These things and more begin to sink into my heart and stir up humility.

I’m face to face with my frailty and flaws.

Write your encouragements out. Out beside these items, I write notes—reminders to encourage and admonish myself. Scripture often comes to mind, and I note it in the margin. This way, I have authority speaking to me.

Before I fill up a page—and that is rather easy to do—I stop to convert these items into prayers. Take the failures, frailties, fears, and flaws and turn them into prayers. They become confessions, requests, and often spring into praise, as God is everything that I am not.

My failures, then, are the steps toward reaching my ultimate goal: to be ever saturated with Jesus so that my life is a glorious offering to God in the stewardship of His gifts.

Give it a try and see what happens. Share your reactions in the comments below.

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