Failure Is Not Defeat

One fine summer afternoon in late July, 1968, two baseball teams competed for the right to play in the city finals. The game was close; one pitcher pitched a no-hitter, allowing no hits in the entire game. The other pitcher did likewise, through most of the game. Neither side was hitting, much less scoring any runs. Near the end of the game one batter managed to hit a short fly ball between second base and center field. The second baseman failed to catch the ball, allowing it to fall for a hit. A few walks and an error later, the runner scored the only run of the game. The final score was 1-0, ending the season for the losing team. Their second baseman was in anguish, knowing that the ball that fell could have been caught.  Failure on his part to catch a ball led to the only run of the game, and subsequent defeat.

I was that second baseman.  Although no one blamed me for the loss, I viewed my failure as causing our team's defeat.

Fortunately, God doesn't see failure as defeat. Even those who became successful failed, sometimes quite often. The Bible paints pictures of success stories with sordid details of many who failed, yet were not defeated:

Moses: murdered an Egyptian/had problems with anger management

David: combination adulterer/murderer/poor father

Peter: severe case of foot-in-mouth disease/lied to Jesus about never leaving Him/denied Jesus three times

Each of these men failed, yet succeeded. Moses led over a million people to the edge of the promised land. David had a heart after God; wrote most of the book of Psalms. Peter wrote two books of the New Testament. boldly serving the Lord until he died a martyr's death.

You may be a failure in the eyes of others-even your own-but not in God's. Why not begin to see yourself as God does-successfully carrying out His will for your life? You are who God says you are, you can do what God says you can do, and you have what God says you have, according to the New Testament.

Failure is not defeat for you, unless you choose to have it that way. What past failure(s) do you need to let go of today to enjoy life?