Lessons From Failure

Aug 26, 2016, 6:36 PM |

by HJS

How you respond to failure is a barometer of your strength of character. The lessons you learn through failure help you mature and gain a new perspective in life. 

Take, for example, Janet Lynn, a five-time U.S. champion who won the bronze medal at the 1972 Winter Olympics. She was favored to win the gold. However, she fell during her free skate performance and with her fall went her hopes for the gold.

She said, "When I knew I couldn't win, I was very distressed and sad. I went back to the Olympic village, and I began crying and arguing with God, saying, "I wanted to do it for You, my nation and my coach. I feel like I am such a huge failure."

Then, being a committed Christian, she began putting the whole thing into perspective. Paul wrote to the Philippians and said he desired Christ to be exalted in his body "whether by life or by death" (Philippians 1:20). Reflecting on what God intended her to do, Lynn said, "I gathered myself all I could and thought, "Perhaps there was a bigger purpose to my skating, to show God's love and express the gift for skating He gave me." And Lynn kept smiling, winning the hearts of people who saw how gracefully she handled failure.

How do you handle failure? Some become angry. Some blame themselves. Some turn and run away. yet some rise from their failure and eventually do succeed.

If you are God's child, you have to view failure in a different light and framework. If God didn't give you your gold or your dream, it doesn't mean He has forsaken you. Failure is a hard teacher, but through it we can learn to glorify God.


You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure.  1 THESSALONIANS 2:1