Failure is never easy. Most would agree that we don’t like to fail.We want to get it right the first time. We can become angry or embarrassed by our failures.
In the end, most of us can see that it was an opportunity to learn and grow. Whether it was a wrong choice, a dream never realized or a job that didn’t get done we learn from our failures and then get on with living.
Through failure we’ve learned humility, grace and sought to make things right, to do things better. Maybe we could even say that in failure we have succeeded because more than anything it has given us character.
There is another failure we are not so good at handling, the failure of others. Especially when that failure might reflect poorly on us.
For example, a parent wants to raise a child to the best they can be according to their God given ability. We see that maybe he’s not the brightest student or greatest athlete. So as a parent we often want to step in, we want to make choices for our children so that they don’t have to be faced with consequences. I know parents who have done homework for their children. Why? Because it’s the best for the child? No, but because they are afraid of how it might reflect on Them. After all, what will people think about you as a parent if your child fails or makes a mistake?
Lies of failure are often whispered into the mind of a parent when their child fails. Truth tells us, it has nothing to do with us, it was his choice, his free will and he will need to learn from the consequences. Pride whispers “what will everyone think of YOU?”
The truth is we all need to learn from our failures but in order to do that we must allow failure. If they have failed to do homework, study or do the work then maybe you need to allow them to fail the test. Or get an incomplete, but then there will be consequences that as parents we must follow through with.
I see this same kind of thinking in ministry and business. A project is due. Your team is on task, you will meet the deadline. But there are other teams that, due to poor planning or procrastination or whatever is lagging behind so typically this means everyone else has to pitch in and do double work to make sure the project is finished.
What has that team really learned from everyone stepping in to help? It’s one thing if it couldn’t be helped and they were behind due to circumstances beyond their control. But what if it was simply because they didn’t plan well or just didn’t do the work. Then maybe the best thing to do is allow the project to fail.
What would happen if you allow that team to fail?
Oh my I can hear the gasp and say “It would make the company/ministry look bad. It would reflect badly for my team too.” Okay, point taken, it might make the organization look bad, so the question then becomes what is more important. The project or the people? This failure could be a huge learning experience for those on the team that failed, but what do they learn if everyone does it for them to “save face”? They learn they don’t have to be responsible or work hard because someone will always do it for them.
What would be the best thing to do?
I would probably fall into the “help them” category even if it might mean putting in twice the work. But I am wondering if that is always the right thing to do.
What if God is intending for that person or team to fail in order to use it? Not that He wants us to fail, but He knows we will and when we do He may want to use it to ultimately bring Him glory and bring that person or team growth.
I guess I am just wondering if sometimes we try to step in to “fix” things or “help” make things right when God already has a plan and just wants us to do what He has called us to do.
But then again… God is sovereign over all things…
Would LOVE to hear your thoughts!