A thought by John C. Maxwell (2000-03-08) from his book, Failing Forward: How to Makethe Most of Your Mistakes (p. 15). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
I read this book back in 2008 when it came out and found it very beneficial and practical then picked it up again and found it to be the same in 2015. Mistakes can be enemies for us in so many ways but they also can be very close friends. It is all in our perspective and response to them.
John says, “You are the only person who can really label what you do a failure.” And that makes the difference in whether it is your friend or your enemy.
John says, “According to Tulane University business professor Lisa Amos, the average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business. They are not deterred by problems, mistakes, or errors. Why? Because they don't see setbacks as failures. They recognize that three steps forward and two steps back still equals one step forward. And as a result, they overcome the average and become achievers.”
Margaret and I have been married for 40 years, 37 great ones and three bad ones. Those three bad ones were because I went through what I call my jerk time. I lived totally for myself. Now in those years we could have bailed on our marriage and many people do during those times. But I’m glad Margaret didn’t do that.
One of the areas that I was totally unreasonable in was that Margaret wanted to go back to school to become an RN. She wasn’t sure where I was headed and she wanted to be prepared. I didn’t want her to go to school, I wanted her to work. Now that time had all the marks of failure and for sure deep mistakes on my part but God used it to mature us and to finally bring us closer together. We just had to go through that tunnel of chaos.
Because of that time God used it to help us in our ministry to hurting people. We could say to people, we understand what you’re going through and don’t give up. Use the tough time to make your marriage stronger. She truly is my best friend today.
Something else that came out of that was how God has used the fact that Margaret stuck with her being an RN and that has brought her now to being an Assistant Vice President of the QI Department in a health insurance company and making a difference in so many lives.
And God wants to do the same things in the mistakes of your life. He wants to use them to make a difference.
So what is your perception and response going to be?