It's been said that we learn more in our failures than in our successes. I believe this is true.
When things fall apart, we tend to realize what is really important. It can clarify our priorities and help us see who our real friends are. We learn the things that we truly can't live without and what we actually can live without.
We are faced with the reality of what we are really trusting in in life and whether or not that thing is solid. Speaking from a Christian perspective, I can say, I have learned more about God, His love, His grace and what He wants to do in and through me in the midst of my failures. I can't imagine not being connected relationally to God and going through failure. It's made all the difference!
While all of that is true -- I actually want to talk about a second quote that I think brings even more hope: "smart people learn from thier failures, but wise people learn from others' failures."
Think about it: what if we could learn from the failures of others, then we wouldn't have to experience those ourselves!
Ya know, for years I've wondered why there are so many examples of failures in the Bible? The Old Testament especially seems to be filled with more failures than successes. People in the Bible are so real, imperfect and even screw ups.
But I love that, because I can relate. While there is a very holy God who proves Himself trustworthy and faithful -- there are characters after characters who get sidetracked, fail to trust, fail to obey, fail to follow God and miss out on God's best.
Why would the Bible include so many of these folks? I believe because the Bible is written for real people, like us. But I also think, the reason those people are in there are so we can learn. Wise people learn from the mistakes of others. We have a chance to learn before falling into the same errors.
Unfortunately, as I look around at our culture, it seems either we're not reading/listening or we're choosing not to learn from them. Two pieces of great news: 1. You don't need to experience it for yourself to learn -- you can learn from others, don't worry there will be plenty of ways we can mess up, we don't have to repeat others' mistakes. 2. We have a God who loves, forgives and doesn't give up on us.
No matter how much we've failed, how many times we've run, tried to hide, felt shame, guilt -- God keeps inviting us into relationship. He is the God of the second chance, the third chance, the fourth and so forth. Not because He is a glutton for punishment but because He knows you and I are made for more.
Don't waste time stumbling in the dark or trying to do it on your own. We have a God who is here for us. Come discover a God who meets us where we are, in the real world and invites us into the life we were made for. Grace Church Roseville us full of real people, just like you who together are finding a God who invites us into more.
Join us on Sundays at 9 or 10:45am at the corner of B2 and Hamline (right next to the high school). Log onto: http://www.extendgrace.org for more info and audio/video of sermons including "Coffee with the Old Testament", a series based on learning from the lives of Old Testament characters in the Bible.