Failure Is Not Final

Featuring Darlene Zschech Posted on March 10, 2010

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, try, try again!!

I remember my mum saying this to me when I was a little girl (it’s funny the things you remember as you get older!!)

But basically the core of this value is - never write people off! Don’t discount people just because they made a mistake. This is NOT the way our God works and neither should we. Our God moves but He doesn’t move on and leave us behind if we let Him down... no, He is committed to every one of us. Thank God I was never written off or condemned to life in the desert whenever I have made mistakes, and I’m sure every leader reading this can say the same thing.

It’s called GRACE.

The sovereign message that silences condemnation and brings to the fore the reason for the Cross.
I have been a part of so many conversations where people have shared with me an experience of them trying to achieve a certain outcome, and then failing, and then losing personal confidence AND confidence from their peers. To be honest, it’s a fairly natural reaction to get annoyed with yourself when falling short of a goal, OR, disappointing your employers, church leaders, your parents, those you hold in esteem when things don’t work out quite the way you planned.

One of the great lessons I have learned is that when a mistake is made, a mis- take made out of trying to do something worthwhile OR a mistake made out of a season of bad decisions, then we as leaders must learn to put the ball back in their hands quickly and with wisdom, and NOT discount the greatness in people or the strength of the GRACE of GOD. There has to be a WAY BACK plan for all who fall short of expectations (sounds like the message of Jesus to me).

The leaders of Disney, one of the most successful, creative, fun facilitators in the world have always said to their creative staff, ‘failing is good, as long as it doesn’t become a habit.’ This is such a great environment for people to feel they can ‘have a go’, or try something new without being ‘written off’ if their idea doesn’t work out.

Teaching people how to fail and recover is a must, as public blunders in small or large capacities have devastatingly taken SO many people off the path of their dreams for good!

In Deuteronomy 9 & 10, I was reading about the ten commandments, and about the two tablets of stone inscribed with the Holy covenant which it says were written by the finger of God Himself (can you even imagine!!) and my heart became totally captivated by the whole process of God finally having His intent for man to live by being preserved for all. Maybe it’s just me but I would love to see God’s handwriting!

Anyway, finally after forty days and forty nights these inscribed stones were handed over to Moses. Then something crazy happens, the people of Israel were acting corruptly and making carved images of empty gods for themselves to worship, and the Lord gets angry! He says to Moses He will destroy these people as they were SO rebellious and self serving.

Then Moses gets angry, and (can you believe this) actually threw the two tablets of stone to the ground and broke them!! Now, he finally prays and prays and gets God’s attention (the Word says in Deuteronomy 9:19 that the Lord listened to Moses - how lovely is that?) and changes the course of history for these people. Talk about intercepting heaven and earth... BUT, I could not get over the fact that Moses actually threw that ‘hand-engraved by God stone’ that held God’s require- ments for us to live by, on the ground!

Do you ever remember breaking something of great value? Once we had a friend drop in for a coffee and just as he was leaving, he accidentally snagged the corner of a cloth I had on a side table on a folder he was carrying. This was no problem apart from the fact that an antique tea set that Mark had bought, when we got engaged, was sitting on the top... beautiful, hand made, delicate, one of a kind. You guessed it - the whole thing went flying and simply smashed into so many pieces. We all stood there looking at each other with our mouths open, and our friend started profusely apologising, and of course we said NO problem. But whenhe left, I had a little cry. But he felt SO bad!! I felt bad for him... oh that sinking feeling - mmmmm. I wonder how Moses felt? Ooooops! just dropped (or threw) the ten commandments.

Anyway, Chapter 10, the Lord fixes it all, the ultimate ‘lets get back on track’ plan, and says to Moses,
‘Hew for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to me on the mountain and make yourself an ark of wood. And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, WHICH YOU BROKE, and you shall put them in the ark.’ (Deuteronomy 10:1-2 AMP)

So here we have the ultimate second chance moment for this time in history. Mo- ses has already broken the first set of stones, now the Lord says, “here it is again, just like the first, BUT BUILD A BOX TO KEEP THEM SAFE IN!”

Ha! God is the ultimate Father at all times, and oh so practical!! But I love that Moses himself was not destroyed, just given a better way to do the same thing again. The heart of the Father is always to put us back on track, a little wiser, and just ever grateful for the second chance theory.

When you see people making continued unhealthy decisions, PLEASE LEADERS, have the courage to sit down and take the time and let them talk about what is going on. It is one thing when it comes to platform ministry and someone slips up, says something crazy, makes a musical blunder... talk about it in a healthy setting, get to it quickly and restore confidence. Otherwise a small imperfect moment can turn out to be a huge prickle in someone’s soul. As is the way of life, small issues, when undealt with, turn into huge issues, and much harder to deal with.

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