My kids are young, and therefore they are learning new things all the time. They regularly face challenges that test their resolve – whether it be my daughter facing tough assignments at school or my son learning how to use the potty. Yes, watching our kids face these difficult tasks can test our own resolve. It is frustrating. Sometimes we fail as parents as we watch our kids experience failures in their lives. As parents, however, we must recognize that failures at tasks do not make us failures as people. This is a simple truth we all need to understand. Failure is a part of life, and that is okay.
Our failures keep us humble. There have been times in my life when I have secretly wanted for God to knock people I viewed as proud “off their high horse.” It always seems God humbles me instead during those times, with good reason. God has a way of reminding us that we are not as great as we think we are. Through our failures, God often reminds us of our need for humility. The Bible has a lot to say about humility. For example, James 4:6 says, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (ESV).
Our failures motivate us to be better. None of us are perfect. If we were, then what would we do with ourselves? We would have no motivation. Exercise improves our health. Study improves our minds. Fellowship improves us socially. Time with God improves us spiritually. We should all be marching toward becoming better versions of ourselves. If we never failed, what would we have to motivate us on this path?
Our failures remind us of God’s strength. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-11, Paul writes, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’. … For when I am weak, then I am strong.” This is such a hopeful verse for the believer. It reminds us that even when we fail, even when we are our weakest, God can do amazing things through us. We can do nothing of eternal value simply by using our own abilities. But God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. In light of this, failure does not seem so bad – it seems like an avenue for God’s power and glory to be on display.
I messed up so many times when I was growing up. I made a bad grade or two on assignments in school. I made errors on the baseball field. I had lapses in judgment. Messing up does not relent with age either. Professionally, I have made mistakes. As a husband and father, I fail regularly. But God is always there, and He uses these moments to remind me of who He is. He can use these experiences in our lives to make us better, and for that, we should be grateful.