What! A school endorsing failure…are you serious? Yes, it’s counterintuitive and countercultural… oh, and by the way, so is faith when you think about it. There is a lot we can learn from failure if we see it correctly and, in turn, reframe it for our students.
The reality is that everybody fails, nobody enjoys it, and anybody can learn to fail forward. In fact, the major difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure. A great case study for this is the apostle Paul. He had numerous reasons to see himself as a failure. Here are just a couple:
- Paul admitted he was the “chief of sinners” (I Tim. 1:15).
- He had wrong priorities and values in his past (Phil 3:8).
- His life was filled with difficulties (II Cor. 11:24-30).
- Paul was not a favorite preacher of the people (I Cor. 2:3-5).
- He was not attractive (Gal. 4:13-15).
- Paul was rejected and lonely (Acts 9:23-26).
How did Paul overcome his past failures and endure these failings on his journey to writing a significant part of the New Testament? Paul looked at failure correctly…and he learned a new definition of failure. Paul realized God was His source, that He would never forsake him, knew setbacks were momentary, and embraced grace. When we do this, not only we, but our students are liberated to go on and try again. God’s grace is the answer to our weaknesses. With it, we not only gain mercy, but the strength to risk again.
Our children and students need this critical worldview to not only survive but thrive in this world. Seeing failure through the lens of the Bible will position them to learn and rebound from failure with resiliency. You see…there is real growth through failure.
Head of School
Maranatha Christian Academy
Brooklyn Park, MN