By Dennis J. De Haan

If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. —1 John 2:1

Inventor Charles Kettering has suggested that we must learn to fail intelligently. He said, “Once you’ve failed, analyze the problem and find out why, because each failure is one more step leading up to the cathedral of success. The only time you don’t want to fail is the last time you try.”

Kettering gave these suggestions for turning failure into success: (1) Honestly face defeat; never fake success. (2) Exploit the failure; don’t waste it. Learn all you can from it. (3) Never use failure as an excuse for not trying again.

Kettering’s practical wisdom holds a deeper meaning for the Christian. The Holy Spirit is constantly working in us to accomplish “His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13), so we know that failure is never final. We can’t reclaim lost time. And we can’t always make things right, although we should try. Some consequences of our sins can never be reversed. But we can make a new start, because Jesus died to pay the penalty for all our sins and is our “Advocate with the Father” (1 John 2:1).

Knowing how to benefit from failure is the key to continued growth in grace. According to 1 John 1:9, we need to confess our sins—it’s the first step in turning our failure into success.

Onward and upward your course plan today,
Seeking new heights as you walk Jesus’ way;
Heed not past failures, but strive for the prize,
Aiming for goals fit for His holy eyes. —Brandt

Failure is never final for those who begin again with God.

Devotional forwarded to you by:


NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC



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