Okay, I’m being facetious. Failure sucks! It makes you question a lot of stuff. “Am I stupid?”, “Is this REALLY what I’m supposed to be doing?”, “If not this then what?”
It overwhelms you with self-doubt. SELF-doubt. You not only start doubting yourself, your future, but your ability to be successful (at anything), but it draws up emotions – negative emotions – that otherwise wouldn’t have crossed your mind. Failing at something stops you dead in your tracks and spins you into a very unhappy place. It begins with a pity party and if they devil can get a foothold, it will spiral into full fledged depression.
Why is really the question that we are seeking the answer to. “Why didn’t this work out the way I planned?”, “Why is this happening to me?”, “Why aren’t things going my way?”, “Why am I, I, I…?” See the theme? At the center of MY failure (your failure) is something that didn’t go MY (your) way and according to MY (your) plan. Conclusion: Pride was/is the driver.
Does Philippians 2:3 NOT say, “Do NOTHING out of selfish ambition or vain conceit?” God sure has a way with cutting to the heart of it, doesn’t he?
So, here are the real questions that we need to be asking ourselves when we fail. 1 – What is God trying to teach me in this/What have I learned? and 2 – How might I realign my thinking (aspirations, plans, expectations…) to what God wants for me? How can I, do I, should I respond in a God-like way to this unplanned, unforeseen circumstance?
There is so much learning and character development that results from failure when we ponder and pray over these questions and get re-centered on God and His will, His plans and His desire for my life.
When this happens, the second part of Philippians 2:3 comes to the forefront, “but in humility, value others above yourself.” Humility – the exact OPPOSITE of pride.
Here is the takeaway in times of temporary setbacks, unmet expectations, disappointments and trials: Romans 5:1-4: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.“
Onward Christian soldier! It’s not about you [Me].