Thursday, December 01, 2011

How Do You Handle Failure?

Just a couple of weeks ago the Los Angeles Galaxy professional soccer team won the Major League Soccer cup. In doing this they were considered ‘winners.’ This was an especially important win for English soccer player David Beckham, because he had been paid millions of dollars to come and help the Galaxy win. For four years they had failed to win the ultimate prize. So when they won this year, everybody applauded David Beckham for again being a winner.

The blunt truth is that there are very few “winners” the way the world defines this term. Out of 16 teams in the Major Soccer League, only the Galaxy won the cup. Out of 30 basketball teams in the NBA, only the Dallas Mavericks won the trophy. If we go by the world’s definition of winning, then all the other teams in these sports were failures; they failed to win it all.

I think we all too often apply this definition to our lives as well. We believe that if we don’t continue to climb the company ladder then we fail. We believe that if we aren’t making ‘lots’ of money, then we fail. We believe that if we don’t have a spouse, two kids, a house, and a dog, then we fail.

The good news is that God looks at things differently. 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us: “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’” God looks at the heart.

It is true that we do fail in that we might fall short of the expectations of others, or we might fail to meet our goals. How do you handle failure? If you have the definition of the world, then it might lead you to get down on yourself or your life. But if you think about 1 Samuel 16:7, then you realize that what is important is the status of your heart.

As long as you are doing your best and seeking God’s will, then you will be fine. So, anytime you experience what seems like failure, then you need to seek after God, who will make sure your heart is in the right place, and set you off on the correct path again. Failure then turns into an opportunity to adjust ourselves in God’s will and to re-focus on the goal God has for us. Blessings.