The Value of Failure
By Anthony Casperson
It’s relatively common knowledge that the bible shows the first sin was eating of the only tree that God had commanded the first man and woman not to partake of. One single rule. And humanity couldn’t even do that.
But shortly after this first human failure that brought sin into God’s perfect creation, we witness what tends to happen when we human beings fail in a task before us. We find someone else to blame. “It’s their fault. I tried, but I couldn’t help it because they…uh…they made me do it.”
Adam blames the woman that God gave him. “It’s her fault. And you should know how much trouble she is, God. You gave her to me. So…if you look at it that way, it’s kinda your fault. Not mine.” And Eve blames the serpent, the manifestation chosen by the Enemy to break the perfect images of God. “It’s his fault. He lied to me. Is it really my fault if I was misled?”
Blame. We humans love to give it, but hate to take it. Our faults, failures, and problems are always the fault of someone else. “If only that person hadn’t shown me those images, I wouldn’t be addicted now.” “If only my boss would have given me a raise, I wouldn’t have had to steal.” “If only my parents had loved me more, I wouldn’t be such a loser.”
Even in everyday failures, we’d rather find a scapegoat to blame than admit that we failed. That’s not to say that the circumstances didn’t factor in. Sure, other people’s actions likely led to certain options being left unoffered. I mean, technically, we can point the finger to our first parents who ate of the fruit to begin with, causing the perfect creation to bear the mark of imperfection.
But where does that get us? Blame only passes the problem to someone else. It offers no solution. It gives no hope. It profits nothing.
The value of failure is in learning from it. We learn better habits. We learn unexpected alternatives. We learn the truth of God. We learn our value to him. Lessons lost when we point the finger at someone else (even if they did have a role in the circumstances).
Failures, from the cosmically tragic, to the simply everyday, don’t evict us from ever succeeding. They give us the opportunity to succeed on the next attempt, with improved ability, if we have accepted the failure and learned from it.
And yes, the next time might prove a failure as well. But that is only the final result when we refuse to learn the lesson and pass the blame to someone else.
Let us stop blaming other people for the problems and failures in our lives. And rather let’s learn, grow, and move in spite of them. Success isn’t about never failing. It’s about never letting the failure stop you from being the person God created you to be.
Learn to fail. Failure isn’t the end of the world, it’s a chance to learn, grow, and press on.