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Learning to Fail Forward

Proverbs 24:17,18 Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble or else the LORD will see it and be displeased. (NRSV)

I don’t think any of us wake up in the morning and set out to get something wrong today. We don’t bounce out of bed wondering, “What mistakes can I make today?” And yet, sure enough, some days we are going to make mistakes.

There’s nothing worse than being part of an organisation – be it a workplace, a social group and yes, even a family – where a blame-oriented culture pervades.

The moment someone steps out of line, the moment someone falls short, the moment someone is involved in even the smallest of failures which perhaps wasn’t even their fault – the knives come out.

The blame game is just about the worst thing we can ever be part of. It belittles, it demeans, it robs not just the individual concerned but the rest of us too, of the potential that we have. And on top of that, it really, really gets up God’s nose:

Proverbs 24:17,18 Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble or else the LORD will see it and be displeased. (NRSV)

There is an alternative … sure, sometimes I’m responsible for a failure and sometimes it might be your turn … but the moment we stop blaming and start learning, what we’re doing together is replacing the blame-oriented culture with a culture that says, “Hey, if we’re going to fail, let’s fail forward. Let’s learn from our mistakes. Let’s apologise and forgive if needs be, and let’s move forward together and not go down that particular road again. And above all, let’s not make enemies of one another because one of us failed.”

Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble or else the LORD will see it and be displeased.

If you’re going to fail, fail forward.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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