You might be surprised to learn that one of the publications I read every month is Harvard Business Review. A few months ago, they dedicated an entire issue to failure – why it happens, how to learn from it, and – most importantly – why failure isn’t always as bad as we make it out to be.
Our culture criminalizes failure – that is, we usually equate failure with fault. Failure is wrong, and it must be punished. After all, don’t you usually assume failure is the result of a lack of planning, a lack of skill, or a lack of intelligence?
Some failure does of course result from carelessness, sabotage and sin – but sometimes failure is the most faithful expression of Christian discipleship. Kavin Rowe points out that Jesus’ life and ministry ended in failure – and failure itself ” is intrinsic to Christian faith and forms an indispensable part of the distinctive Christian logic of death-resurrection”.
It is impossible to experience the power of Christ’s resurrection without the pain and emptiness of death. The wind of the Spirit does not breathe new life into bones that insist on standing on their own, and Jesus did not call his disciples to preach to the world from a perch high atop the corporate ladder.
Have you failed today?