Some efforts are a bust. They simply don’t turn out as we had hoped. But these failures are often best understood as learning opportunities on our path forward.
No one enjoys failure. But much learning takes place in realizing what doesn’t work.
For instance, a child learning to walk fails often in learning to find his balance. Nothing is wrong with the child. This is just the process of growth.
And the same is true throughout our lives in big and small ways.
Perhaps our project at work is a complete dud. While disappointing, wisdom challenges us to consider what didn’t work in order to make it better for the next time. The failure is not a verdict on our personal worth – it’s just a part of the process of learning.
Our efforts to do something special for our wife might also bomb. But even here, the failure allows us to learn more about her heart. We gain clues into what makes her come alive through learning what doesn’t.
Likewise, we might look back with much shame and regret over our past moral failures. And while it’s tempting to perpetually beat ourselves up for our sins, we can also use this as an opportunity to learn more about our own hearts – our weaknesses and our deep desires.
Whatever the case, our failures don’t have to have the final word in our story. And we miss our chance to grow whenever we hide them or pretend they don’t exist.
While embarrassing, unpleasant, and disappointing, our failures provide a rich experience of learned wisdom. They refine us and allow us to grow toward our better.
Courageously lean into your failures and learn. Accepting these setbacks graciously is a path toward wisdom and maturity.