Failure, endurance, character and hope

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation
Romans Ch 5 v 3 & 4 (NLT)

I will always remember, right at the start of my career, asking a Senior Manager in BT the secret of his success. Or rather, I will always remember the answer:

“When everyone else around you is falling down, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and continue making a difference”

I noted several things about this response. Firstly it acknowledged his understanding that there will be significant times when you fall down and fail. Its part of life, we are human. Billy Davies, the Nottingham Forest manager said yesterday before his team played Cardiff City, and following on from a defeat in midweek “These are good players, but they are human and they had a bad day, but they will pick themselves up after the game against Scunthorpe and I am sure we can win today” (They beat Cardiff 2 -1).

Recently I had a not-so-good grade in one of my papers. (I’m studying missions at Fuller Seminary). The temptation was to rubbish myself and beat myself up about it. I’ve noticed though that winners pick themselves up, learn in humility from their mistakes and carry on to win the prize and make a difference.

Secondly, this is not arrogance, it comes from an inner strength, that as Christians we acknowledge is from God. It’s an ability (some call it character) to humbly acknowledge our humanness and failure, and yet also see that we were made for greater things than this. This character, in my experience, is formed on your knees before God, with His word open before you. Failure brings endurance, endurance, character and character hope.

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