Failure, For Parents, God, Health & Wellness, Overcoming Trials, Success, Trials

The Upside and Downside of Failure

Psalm 73:26 (NKJV)—“My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Proverbs 24:16 (NKJV)—“For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity.”

Written by Milton J. Orgeron & Pamela K. Orgeron, M.A., Ed.S., BCCC, ACLC, Author

In this article we will attempt a comprehensive discussion about failure: What is failure? What is God’s response to failure? What are the benefits (upside) of experiencing failure? What are possible negative consequences (downside) to failure? What affects whether one fails? What are healthy responses to failure? Throughout this article we will be sharing Scriptures and where necessary their biblical applications to failure.

Failure Defined

A broad definition of failure given at is “an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful: lack of success: His effort ended in failure. The campaign was a failure.” Synonyms to failure with applicable examples of types of failure include:

  • nonperformance—breaking a promise
  • insufficiency—crop failure
  • deterioration—congestive heart failure

Common examples of types of failure include a bank failure, failing at a career, a cake failing to raise, etc.  Other types of failure are depicted below.

Based on personal experience and observation, failures can occur in every aspect of one’s life, including physical, mental, emotional,  and spiritual. Personally, w believe the greatest failure is for an individual to fail to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, resulting in one spending eternity in Hell.

Because we live in a fallen world, all humans naturally fail periodically.  Some Christians have the misperception that being a Christian makes them immune to failure due to their status as a Christian. However, God often permits us to fail for His higher purposes. 

Job 14:1 says, “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” That doesn’t say “unbelievers” or “the ungodly.” It says man born of woman. What does that mean? Everyone. Life is full of trouble, even for those who belong to God through faith in Christ. We are to expect it. This means God does not promise life to be without problems, sorrow, and, yes, failure, just because we believe in Him. (Got Questions, ¶1)

Psalm 37:24 (NKJV): Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.

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