In every sporting event where two opposing teams face off there is a loser and a winner. Someone fails and someone succeeds. The feelings are quite different and the contrasting emotions can be seen in the demeanor of each player.

Imagine how the New England Patriots felt in comparison to the Atlanta Falcons when the Patriots came back from what seemed to be an insurmountable lead to win Super Bowl 51! Success feels great and failure – Not so great!

After all these years, I can still remember the first ‘F’ I received on my report card when I attended junior high school. Up until then – I had been a straight ‘A’ student but when I saw that ‘F’ on my report card – It was like branding a very large ‘L’ for loser on my forehead.

Since that time – My view of failure has changed. Here are some quotes I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me evolve.

  1. "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill.
  2. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” Confucius
  3. “A man may fail many times but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” John Burroughs
  4. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” J.K. Rowling
  5. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein
  6. “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” Robert T. Kiyosaki
  7. “Success builds character, failure reveals it.” Dave Checkett

Here’s a bit of wisdom, taken from a giant, named Goliath. You may remember – He’s the guy everyone thought would surely win the battle with his opponent – David. Much like those who chose Atlanta to win when it was 28 to 3 in the last few minutes of the 3rd quarter. The story of David and Goliath is in the Bible – 1 Samuel 17.

When reading the record it seems impossible that a more powerful, more experienced and much larger man in stature would fail to win this battle? But he did! Why? The answer is found in three decisions Goliath made as he entered the battle.

  1. He chose to depend upon his own strength, his own wisdom and his own abilities rather than God. When human insight trumps heavenly wisdom and you act upon your intuition rather than His instruction, you are in trouble. (Check out what Solomon said in Proverbs 3:5-8)
  2. He distanced himself from people and stood alone. No one reaches success apart from the help of others. Learn to love and value people. If you don’t, be prepared to fail.
  3. Lastly, Goliath despised small things but it was a small smooth stone, shot from a slingshot that brought about his demise. It’s the little things in life that matter most. Take care of the little things and you can avoid failure in the big things.

If you want to succeed – Learn the truth about failure – Put God first – People second and take care of the little things.

Pastor Tim Howard is the lead pastor at Koinonia Christian Fellowship. Any comments can be sent to: tim@kcfchurch.org.

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