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Monday, April 27, 2015

God Uses Mistakes and Failures For My Good

In review of Galatians 3:4 it says, “Did all your experience mean nothing at all? Surely it meant something!”

Bottom Line:
Experiences matter, it is not just happenstance. They have their purpose.

What this means to me:
I have experienced so much, and it was not in vain. It helped to shape my life and my character.

I can learn a lot from my experiences; both good and bad. In order to apply them to my work, I have to go back over time and review, “Where was I successful and where was I not? Where was I fulfilled and where was I not? What got me excited about what I was doing?”

All of the lessons for my life are represented in my experiences; I just need to spend time examining them. However If I do, I’ll see that in every failure are the seeds of success, as long as I can learn from them.

Galatians 3:4 says, “Did all your experience mean nothing at all? Surely it meant something!” (GNT)

Rick Warren explained the story about a older gentleman he met who told me how getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to him. He was 40 years old and had worked his entire life in a saw mill when his supervisor came in one day and told him he was fired; no severance, no retirement, nothing. He had no other skills, no other job training. When he went home and told his wife what happened, she said, “What are you going to do now?” He responded, “I guess I’m going to do what I’ve always wanted to do. I’m going to mortgage our home and go into the building business.”

His first venture was the construction of two small motels, but within five years, he was a multimillionaire. The man was named Wallace Johnson, the co-founder of the Holiday Inn hotel chain. At one point, it was one of the world’s largest hotel chains.

Wallace told Rick that if he could locate the man who fired him, he would thank him for what he had done. At the time, Wallace didn’t understand why he was fired. Only later could he see that it was God’s unerring and wondrous plan to get him fired in order to get him into the career he was shaped to do.

I know from my own past that God has taken me through an unexpected failure that I didn’t understand at the time, but now I see that it shaped me into who I am today. What I’m learning is that I need to trust that God will use my circumstances, good or bad, to show me what he shaped me to do and how he can use my life in service to him.

The failures in my past have helped lead to a directional change in my life. Had they not happened, I may be the same person I am today.  Also, I find that God never wastes any experience.  He uses them to train and shape my life and choices. I think one current failure that comes to mind right now is how I’m experiencing a high turnover of staff.  Some of this is just a thing of the times, the economy is getting better and their higher skill sets are being pursued by others. Some of this could be what I’m doing or able to do as a manager to recognize and reward them. In this case I can see what kind of proactive things I can do to help retain staff.  

In summary, God uses failures in my life to help teach me and keep me humble. Without failures I could probably become big-headed. Failures help remind me to keep my eyes on him for daily guidance and direction.