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Devotional

Have I really failed? (Seeing Growth as the End Result of Failure).

By Tameka Burton

We all fail at times. We have been trained to regard failure as inherently negative. We view it as the exposure of weakness and so we hate it.

Think for a moment about an area in your life where you have failed. It may have been a failed relationship or marriage, the loss of a job, a financial failure or a moral failing. Just thinking about it may have stirred up some negative emotions and may have even caused you to think much less of yourself.

But failure has a purpose. Failure can be a tool for growth. When you fail you realize your limitations and are forced to rely on God more.

God is interested in having fruitful Christians. And He wants those who are fruitful to bear even more fruit. He accomplishes this goal through pruning.

Let’s look for a moment at John 15:1-2

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.

A thought provoking aspect of these verses is, not only were the non- fruit bearing branches cut, but the fruit bearing branches were also cut. The fruit bearing branches however were cut in a different way and with a different purpose in mind. They were pruned.

One of the ways God prunes you is to allow you to go through experiences which seem like failure. Sometimes God uses the areas in which you fail to cause you to be more productive because through failure you recognize your weaknesses and insecurities. Failure cuts from you the things which hinder growth and productivity. Therefore it should be viewed as something positive.

The temptation when you fail is always to dwell on the negative and give up. But a changed attitude towards failure creates opportunities for fulfilling your purpose. Ask God today what lessons He is teaching you through your failure and take joy in the fact that He sees you as worthy of being pruned.