Failure: Is It a Trait?

Posted: July 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

At Who Me Be A Leader we have done some research on men of different levels and backgrounds. What we have found is that men have a fear of failure and of leadership. This article is focusing on the common thread of failure and examples of great men from the Bible that also experienced failures but that God chose to use for His glory.

Solomon seemed to be the perfect man. He was wise. He was rich. He had peace in his kingdom. He was in touch with God. In spite of this, he failed. First Kings 11:4 says, “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.”

What a sad epitaph! But then David too had failed in the matter with Bath-sheba. He had stooped to arranging the killing of Uriah the Hittite.

I have learned that people will fail. We have to keep our eyes on the Lord. When we recall those we know who have failed to live up to our expectations, we have to look at ourselves and realize that we also are vulnerable.

Samuel, the prophet, priest, judge, king-maker, and founder of the school of prophets, failed to raise his sons to follow the Lord: “And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment” (1 Sam. 8:3).

Saul, handsome and tall, failed to trust fully the Lord and ended up consulting a witch and medium (1 Sam. 28:8). How could he do that?

It was a series of small steps downward. It shows us that we have to carefully consider each decision we make so as not to start down that path. First Corinthians 10:12 reminds us, “Let him that thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.”

Noah, the hero of faith, “was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent” (Gen. 9:21). Substance abuse is a weakness that a lot of good people fall prey to. It makes us so sad to hear about the waste of life and potential.

If we look at people, we will be constantly disappointed. There was the Bible teacher who quit his position and married another man’s wife. Then a Christian worker that became so discouraged he hung himself.

It reminds me of Peter walking out to the Lord on the water and then, distracted by the wind, beginning to sink (Matt 14:30). We always need to keep our eyes on Jesus and not on the people around us. The Lord Himself is our strength.

Galatians 6:1 says, “If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.” Christian workers have faults, some not so serious, and some very serious. We have faults. I am not sure that it is a spiritual gift to straighten other Christians out, but certainly we should encourage one another to stand strong against temptation. We should also “confess our faults one to another” (James 5:16) and solicit prayer support and advice.

Jesus is our example. We should “follow his steps” (1 Pet. 2:21). No other example will do. We should not be disciples of any man, only the Lord. We are all as equals gathered around the Word, sitting at the feet of Jesus, learning of Him and loyal only to Him.

This seems simple but is actually a hard lesson to learn because we all gravitate to human leaders to model ourselves after. They are mentors, and we think them to be perfect. However, only Christ is the truly righteous One.

Excerpts from: Gospel Herald and the Sunday School Times
“Keep Your Eyes on the Lord”, by Philip J. Lesko

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