Willing to Fail

“Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still.” 
Proverbs 9:9

You may have heard about a remarkable man who encountered continual disappointment yet wasn’t afraid to risk failing again. Between 1831 and 1858 he suffered two business failures, the death of his fiancée, and a mental breakdown. This man also failed in his attempts at public office: He bid unsuccessfully for positions as state legislator, speaker of the state legislature, presidential elector, state land officer, congressional representative, U.S. Senator (twice), and U.S. vice president.

Was he a hopeless loser? History indicates otherwise. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States. He led the nation through the dark days of the Civil War, preserved the union, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Many historians consider him the greatest of all U.S. presidents.

Successful people such as Abraham Lincoln usually experience failure along the way, but they keep taking risks—and they learn from their mistakes. Are you willing to fail in order to learn and grow?

Just between us . . .

• David was a great king, yet he fell into sin. What did he learn from his sin? (See Psalm 51.)
• What have you learned from past failures?
• When you fail, do I hold it against you, or do I help you try again?
• How does God want us to respond to failure?

Lord, we ask tonight that You affirm Your work in our lives and that You put Your hand of blessing and safekeeping on all our endeavors. When we try and fail, help us to get up and try again. Amen.

Listen to today's broadcast of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk at OnePlace.com.  For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at drjamesdobson.org.

This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.