Give Yourself Permission to Fail … and Learn

LifeJourney1_300If there was anyone in Biblical history who learned from his failures, it was Peter. Consider this man who failed in his effort to walk on water (see Matthew 14:28 – 30), denied Jesus (see Luke 22:54–62) and suffered a rebuke from Paul regarding his treatment of Gentile Christians (see Galatians 2:11 – 13). Peter was outspoken, hotheaded and sometimes cowardly, but he became a founder of the church and an influential figure in church history.

Like leaders of yesterday and today, we make mistakes. Whatever skills and talents we possess need to be refined. We can’t learn to be an authority and have expertise in an area if we don’t have the freedom to practice and learn. We need to give ourselves permission to fail. And that comes in part from doing what 2 Peter 3:18 says, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever!” Jesus will shepherd us through all of our failures.

No one ever became an expert in any area without trial and error. Whether it’s cooking, basketball, business, personal finance, teaching, Bible exegesis or child rearing, developing a skill requires practice. Practicing is an important aspect of realizing independence and adulthood.

We can fail and then learn from our experiences and try again. In this way, we begin to value the process more than the result. We see that growth is a journey that we are taking, walking hand in hand with God. When we fall down, as Peter did, we take God’s hand and get back up. If we keep doing that, like Peter, we will grow.


Find more insightful commentary from Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, pick up the NIV Life Journey Bible, which combines the world’s most accessible Bible translation with exclusive boundaries teaching.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *