I don’t like to see people fail, unless maybe it’s a bloopers video for a skateboarder who made a bad call and was lucky to make it out with only a few bumps or bruises! That’s funny. But true failure when it involves sin or a bad decision is just brutal…and I especially don’t like to have to be the one to talk to someone about that failure! Isn’t that the worst possible thing to face in a day? It conjures up memories of when people have had to correct me…that sinking feeling of despair where you want to crawl under your desk in embarrassment and shame…you know what I mean!
Watching your children fail is probably the worst part of parenthood as well. It’s that helpless feeling as a mom or dad seeing your child have to feel the pain of their sins. You know that you have to let them feel that pain, but nonetheless I’m not sure whether those situations are worse for the kid or the parent. It’s just awful.
In staff meeting a few months ago Chris Harold said something that stuck with me regarding this topic. He said, “We can’t rob people of failure.” What a profound way to look at a difficult thing! When we try to smooth things over too quickly and not allow people to feel the weight of disappointment, we are actually robbing them of a growth opportunity.
I definitely see that in my own life. I hate those “crawl-under-the-desk” moments, but I also see that each one of them clearly molded and shaped my character…and still do! I am thankful for the people in my life who were brave enough to call me on it and then kind enough to crawl under the desk with me and console my wounded character.
Sometime soon you will fail. It’s the inevitable part of life. And I hope that when you are cowering in that shame you will say to yourself, “Good news, self. You weren’t robbed of an opportunity to grow today.” Then dust yourself off, thank the person who corrected you, and try again. You can do it!