Episode 195

Disciple Up # 195
Dealing with Failure
By Louie Marsh, 1-20-2021

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2For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.” (James 3:2, ESV)

16for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. 17Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, 18lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.” (Proverbs 24:16–18, ESV)

14The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.” (Psalm 145:14, ESV)

How to respond to failure?

  1. Examine the truth. This burns and isn’t fun; yet, healing and recovery generally start when the truth is exposed. Lies keep you in the dark and however you try to spin your situation the bottom line is that the truth matters. Too often people attempt to dilute the situation with fancy words or a cute story, but this only delays the pain. And delaying the pain can cause more conflict.

For example, if you see your recent financial decision causes a decrease in the weekly household income, be truthful about this.

  1. Become transparent with yourself. Transparency is necessary. When mistake occur, there is emphasis on forgiving others, including yourself. However, you can’t forgive yourself for that which you are not transparent with. And you can’t fully forgive yourself as long as you minimize the error. This doesn’t mean that you are overly critical of yourself, but it means being honest. Instead of telling yourself that your business is closing because one manager made poor decisions, be truthful and examine your role in this situation. Ask yourself: Did you look the other way when there was business conflict? Were you overly harsh in meetings so that it made communication difficult?


  1. Give yourself permission to feel the pain. After a failure occurs, the immediate mode for many is moving onward because very few desire to be present with pain. This is why when pain exists people often use a substance to dilute the intensity of the hurt. Some people use work to avoid the pain. However, learning to be present with the pain is critical in healing. This is not a sign of weakness.


  1. Commit to being open to the bigger lessons. This is when being willing to be a student of life is so important. When you think you are certain of everything and that life has nothing to teach you, then you will repeat your mistakes. Learning a new way to see situations can be the very key to your next success.

Learning is a humbling experience. You become aware of all that you didn’t know. When you see the deficits in your knowledge base, use this as an opportunity to grow and change.

12Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:12–13, ESV)

9Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10, ESV)

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Email – louie@discipleup.org


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