by Tim Howard
While reading the Bible this past week I came across a familiar Proverb from King Solomon that caught my attention. It simply says: “Don’t interfere with good people’s lives; don’t try to get the best of them. No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don’t stay down long; Soon they’re up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces.” Msg. That scripture reminded me of a Japanese Proverb that says: Fall seven times and stand up eight."
The wise King and the Japanese Proverb are talking about failure and success. The road to success will always take you on a path that leads through failure. How you deal with failure will determine the level of your success. While it may be difficult to wrestle with failure, I’m convinced success is even more grueling.
For every 10 people who successfully handle failure, there seems to be only one person who can handle success. Maybe that is why we hear so many horror stories from professional sports! Young men and women in their 20’s making millions of dollars before they have developed enough character for their success to stand upon.
In every sporting event where two opposing teams face off, there is a loser and a winner. Someone fails and someone succeeds. Imagine how the Golden State Warriors felt in comparison to the Cleveland Cavaliers last week when they swept the series. Success feels great and failure – Not so great!
Our view of failure and success must be based on truth. These five quotes might help.
1. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill.
2. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” Confucius
3. “A man may fail many times but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” John Burroughs
4. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein
5. “Success builds character, failure reveals it.” Dave Checkett
Here’s a bit of wisdom taken from a giant named Goliath. You may remember – He’s the guy everyone thought would surely win the battle with his opponent – David.
When reading the story of David and Goliath it seems impossible that a more powerful, more experienced and much larger man in stature would fail to win this battle? But he did! Why? The answer is found in three decisions Goliath made as he entered the battle.
1. He chose to depend upon his own strength, his own wisdom and his own abilities rather than God. When human insight trumps heavenly wisdom and you act upon your intuition rather than God’s instruction, you are in trouble.
2. He distanced himself from people and stood alone. No one reaches success apart from the help of others. Learn to love and listen to people. Even if you don’t agree with them.
3. Lastly, Goliath despised small things but it was a small smooth stone, shot from a slingshot that brought about his demise. It’s the little things in life that matter most. Take care of the little things and failure will be minimized in the big things.
If you want your failures to lead to success – Make God a part of the equation – Let people have input and take care of the small things.