Failing

I have been reading Gregory Boyle’s book, Tattoos on the Heart.  Boyle is a Jesuit priest and the founder of Homeboy Industries.  Their mission is both simple and visionary; they assist at-risk and formerly gang-involved youth to become positive and contributing members of society through job placement, training and education.

Once again, it was a statement in the book’s introduction that stuck with me: “anything worth doing is worth failing at.”  I need to hear this, more than that I need to believe this.

It is really easy to believe that success emerges only from success.  In other words, to be successful I must make correct decisions.  The honest truth is that, for me, success tends to emerge from the ashes of failure, mistakes and lousy decisions.

I am the National Director of a ministry.  When I fail, others are impacted.  This is frustrating and humbling.  It means I have to own my failure and sometimes apologize for the hurt I have caused.

Failure has a painful downside.  That said it is failure that has made me and DOOR, the program I direct, what it is today.

Failure is simply a part of life.

It is how we respond to failure that dictates the role that failure will play in our lives and ministry.  Consider for a moment Judas and Peter.  Both of them failed in a significant way.  Peter denied Jesus and Judas betrayed Jesus.

Judas’ response – commit suicide.

Peter’s response – run to Jesus.

Peter owned his failure and found the courage to move on.  I do not wish failure on anyone, but I agree; anything worth doing is worth failing at.

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Filed under Christian, church, forgiveness, grace, mistakes

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