Delayed Success

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing”. Bernard Shaw, Irish Playwright 

We all want to be successful; but then, finding the right key is critical to achieving this goal. That key will unlock the door to success, fame, and fortune. We want to know; how do I find the right spouse? We want to know; how do I live happily after? What key do I need to raise smart, bright successful children? What about staying young, healthy, and beautiful? Proverbially, we find the key and life appears hopeful and fruitful. Suddenly, we are confronted with storms, the key is swept away, and our once bright future looks dim and dismal. No one embarks on a project with the intention of failure. Failure affects us in many ways, it impedes us spiritually. Failure impacts us socially and inhibits us personally.  

Feelings of failure

The creator of failure invented it to suffocate your relationship with God, your family, and friends. It prevents us eating at God’s table and living up to our full potential. The main intention of failure is to keep us emotionally malnourished, whilst at the same time blighting our path to success. If we keep failing, our perceptions become distorted. In other words, our self-confidence becomes eroded, and we feel unworthy. Failure is often a demoralising and upsetting experience.  

Just thinking about our many failures encourages feelings of: 

  • incompetence 
  • shame  
  • weakness 
  • paralysis 
  • and demotivation 

Reassuringly, Micah 7: 8, “Don’t, enemy, crow over me. I’m down, but I’m not out. I’m sitting in the dark right now, but God is my light. I can take God’s punishing rage. I deserve it—I sinned. But it’s not forever. He’s on my side.” (MSG Bible). Learning from failure leads to success. In fact, highly successful people have failed several times before becoming successful. Failure should be a springboard. We must not quit. Recognizing our weaknesses and the things we do wrong can help us we can achieve success. 

Failure is not an identity.

American motivational speaker Denis Waitley said, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not dead-end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” Ironically, that is failure in a nutshell. You need to be resolved to find a clear path away from failure. Regardless of your current state, your natural life must not be one of gloom and of sadness but of peace, coupled with contentment. We must be willing to walk away from certain habits and practices. Proverbs 26:1, “Like a dog that returns to its vomit, a fool does the same foolish things again and again.” Do things differently. Change your habits. We can break away from constant feelings of failure and apathy to succeed and achieve self-actualization.  

Trust God! Lean upon his promises. As the Psalmist assured, “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:2-3. Put absolute confidence in Him regardless of your feelings of failure. He will offer support and provision when we face obstacles and uncertainties. God will help us even if we fail. We might not understand it at that moment, but God is always faithful to the end. 

Father God, we come to you in faith. Teach us to learn from our mistakes and recognise your never-failing love and support, in the name of Jesus, amen.