failure isn’t always failure

jesus church growth cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
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I wouldn’t always interpret failure as a sign of success. I wouldn’t always interpret success as a sign of failure.

Neither would I interpret failure as a sign of failure. Nor would I interpret success as a sign of success.

Then what do we do? We discern. We discern what is true. What is honest. What has integrity. What is real. What is compassionate.

Discernment is the scarcest commodity in the world. It was in Jesus’ day. It is now.

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  • klhayes

    That is so true. I have learned to analyze each experience to understand what I learned from it. It helps me figure out what I want or don’t want, what knowledge I have gained and how I can use it in future experiences. Experiences doesn’t always have to take on a feeling of “success or failure.” They just are.

  • Doug

    When I was hanging out in evangelical circles years ago, I’d go to pastors’ meetings and all they talked about was numbers. “Church growth” was equated with bus ministry, Sunday school outreach gimmicks, the number of people who were attending, building expansion, etc., ad nauseam. Funny . . . now that the prevailing spiritual culture has changed, you don’t hear all that stuff anymore.

  • I agree. There is always the possibility that the measures that were previously used to gage “success” will need to be adjusted in order to keep up with a changing reality. Over time, the old measures don’t track what is now important. What we look for to gage success needs to be included in the feedback loop.

  • James_Jarvis

    Reminds of Bob Dylan’s Lyrics:
    “My love she speaks softly

    She knows there’s no success like failure

    And that failure’s no success at all”

  • SecularPatriot

    Can you expand a bit?

  • Hello David.

    Rationally and spiritually you’re entirely right!

    But for people like myself belonging to the 20% of Westerners struggling with anxiety, depression or both, even small failures in our live will most often sound as if we ourselves are total failures.

    Coming to terms with our irrational destructive biases isn’t an easy task by any mean.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son