Jesse Walters

The Church Next Door: My Cult Experience and How I Got Out While Staying Close to God

The Benefits of Failure

Life is hard, so hard that no one in the history of mankind has perfected it and never will.  That sounds scary.  It’s like God set us up to fail.  I’m a perfectionist at heart and accepting failure is a daunting task.  I want it done right, right now, and failure doesn’t allow me to have that. 

Failure is inevitable.  We all experience it, some more than others, and some worse than others, but failure is something all humans have in common.  There is a good thing about it though.  Failure helps us succeed.  We can tweak little things in order to reach our goal.

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I recently experienced a failure that gave me a different perspective on it.  I kept failing and didn’t know why.  I was spinning my wheels.

If you reflect on the topic, you can’t possibly think you’re going to go the rest of your life without failing again.  If you truly believe your remaining days on this planet will be perfect please email me.  I want to know your secret!  But even though we know that, it doesn’t stop us from living our lives.  My new insight, though, goes like this:

Failure ultimately helps us achieve our goals and what we’re striving to overcome, but what if our goals or what we’re trying to overcome isn’t going to fix our failure?  Or worse, what if it’s the very thing that’s making us fail?

At first, this really frightened me.  What if I’m walking in the wrong direction completely?  What if I don’t know what I’m trying to fix or succeed at?  What if what I want isn’t what I need?

Instead of letting myself rationalize the thought of never going outside again, I came to the conclusion that this is another benefit of failure.  It stopped me from going too far in the wrong direction.  I’ve changed my course, my motives, my understanding of the situation, and even the ultimate outcome I want.

I can relate this back to many things including my cult experience.  I went to church and worshiped God but realized I was going to the WRONG church and worshiping the WRONG version of God.  What I was trying achieve was actually the source of my failure.  I wanted to stay with that church no matter what.  Now, I want to worship God no matter what church I’m in.

It’s like I said in the beginning, God set us up to fail.  He lets us fail for a reason.

Is there anything you keep failing at?  Maybe God is telling you need to reevaluate the entire situation.

3 Comments

  1. Sometimes I think God allows us to fail when we try to accomplish things in our own strength. By allowing us to fail it can lead to relying more on Him and His strength, thus drawing us closer in relationship to Him.

    Like you, I lean towards perfectionist tendencies and have had in the past a real fear of failure. In fact a few years ago I let a major personal failure pushed me far from God for a period. I struggled with this specific failure a lot because I had done my due diligence and had tried to pray for God’s strength and leading towards succeeding, to ultimately fail. I realize now that I never really prayed for God’s will and leading, I had kind of approached Him more as a security for my own plans. I still was more focused on my own strength, pride and success, than truly relying or trusting in His. Now looking back, I realize through that difficult time, even being angry with God, it brought me a newer and greater respect and appreciation for my relationship with Him. It also was a great reminder in humility.

    I think failure can and often does serve as a compass to Christ, showing us more of His grace and power. As well it can perfect our attempts and motivation to an eventual or different success. Failure enables us to have a broader perspective on what true success is, sometimes not giving up is succeeding.

    I like how you pointed out that at times failure can be a way to redirect our efforts or focus to other things. Great Post!

    • Thanks! I appreciate the comments. I like how you said failure is a “compass” to Christ. I agree. It also reminds me that it’s a test from Him. Whether that be to test our patience, anger, etc.

  2. Believing. If only for its sake.

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