What is failure?

To me, I see it is in the eyes of the beholder.

We look at what someone else did and we see they have failed to do what we believe they should have done.

In another’s eyes, they may be happy with what is being done, and irritated by what the first person expected.

So, did we fail? Or did we succeed?


For me, this picture represented some of the produce I grew this summer. For an accomplished gardener, it may have been a failure.

It was a success for me.

In our lives we will have people that speak into them. They will speak into our lives telling us what we did right and what we did wrong. More often, it is easier to hear what we did right, but what will stick with us is what we did wrong.

I was hammered by opinions and talk these last few weeks. It was overwhelming to the point that I realized something. There comes a point where it becomes about putting someone down, without building them up. There are some amazing people that cared, spoke up and really fought through to make sure people heard that they loved enough to strive for the truth.

There were others that do not do this.

It is hard to go into the next week without seeing failure. It might have been that grade you got on a test. It might have been the friend that told you that you had poor style. It may have been the sermon at church talking about how to have a perfect marriage, when yours is less than perfect. Failure.

I know I learned with my kids that if all you focus on is punishment, you will never reap the reward of your child coming to you when they messed up. What they expect from you is punishment. But when you have build them to the point that when they mess up, they admit it, humble themselves and learn from it, with natural punishments rather than forced ones, they learn to trust.

A group I visited online earlier was discussing things in the world, that are pretty standard. The group defended speaking poorly of someone, because they looked scary to them. The words were cruel and hateful, in any form, let alone someone who was claiming to be a supposed follower of Someone that never spoke like that. My comment was deleted, along with some of the hateful comments, but the shame I carried remained. I stopped though to think, maybe the fear that bespoke the response this person had came from someone who felt they had failed. They were only shown hate towards those that didn’t match perfection, and therefore knew no different.

It made me sad for them.

Failure is a state of mind or being.

As I face this next week, I am going to remind myself that I am not perfect. I don’t expect myself to be so anymore, and I do not need to fear punishment. We can go through life and make mistakes, own them and move forward. Our lives can be better for learning through peaceful correction and love. The hate does not have to rule that drives us to feel we failed.


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