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Failure is the new Success

A wise man once said...
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?  And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.  

Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong.  Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.  

For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.  We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection."  
2 Corinthians 13:5-9

Is perfection attainable?  At one time I thought it might be.  I hated the thought of failing the test.  I hated the thought of failing at all.  God teaches us to remain humble by giving us plenty of failure to learn from.  

Failure is my new success.  It seems that one day failure would be rewarded with actual success, but lately I find failure three times more often than I find success.  I tend to learn best from failure--strong, powerful failure.  The kind that makes you feel stupid.  The good ol' hindsight 20/20 deal where you can't believe you really stepped out on a limb and tried something you didn't know whether you would be able to do or not................and failed.  

Every day we fall short of God's glory.  We fail ourselves in living like Christ lived, in serving others like Christ served, and in dying to ourselves daily.  Failure, in my opinion, is one of God's ways of reminding us that we are not in control.  It's His way of testing our faith.  

When you fail at something (whether you actually thought you'd be successful or not) how do you react?  

Do you try to postpone failure, hoping to avoid it?


Isn't it interesting how many Christian essentials are counter intuitive?

Here are a couple of humility verses, which of course often follow failure and bring spiritual success.

Notice the warning in Colossians against "voluntary humility".  Dying of self must never be self-induced, but as you point out, from God.

Proverbs 18:12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor [is] humility.

Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,


What are your thoughts on achieving success in terms of God's will and matching wordly success of your own desires with eternal success that God desires from you?

How will you judge your own success?  What will be your definition of success in your own life in the next year and how would you track your progress?  

I don't have many additional thoughts at this time to add to the above, so I'll pose a few questions instead.


Your question: "achieving success in terms of God's will and matching wordly success of your own desires with eternal success that God desires from you?"

What I want is God's will in my life, unfortunately, I also want God's will to synchronize with my desires.

It's kind of like a friend when asked how the praise and worship was in church and he said it was wonderful, the men are being praised and the women are being worshiped.

So to answer your question, while I want God's will in my life, and I know that is the true measure of success, I often stand in line when praise is being handed out rather than genuinely praising God.

I believe it is part of my fallen nature to desire personal praise.  However, I believe it is God's loving nature to share His glory with us.  We just have to remember the source, and know it is only a reflection of Him!

We are not alone, even Paul struggled with this!
Romans 7:14-25 "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that [it is] good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Thanks for the response Rick.  I appreciate your knowledge of scripture that always relates to the conversation.  

That passages sounds like some early struggle with spiritual warfare.

It's amazing to me how the Hebrew translation of Paul's words translate so clearly.  It almost sounds like something CS Lewis would author.

       Read For Truth Forum Index -> Steve Kelly
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If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. --C. S. Lewis