Failure tolerance

By Dave Henning / August 28, 2015

Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.  The jailer work up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself!  We are all here!”- Acts 16:26-28

In today’s blog, John Ortberg discusses the seventh way God’s wisdom can lead us to/through open doors.

7.  Test, experiment, and learn failure tolerance.  Pastor Ortberg states that while God does have guidance for a particular decision, He doesn’t have guidance for every decision.  And sometimes God’s guidance is not so much about what He wants to do through us as what He wants to do in us.

John observes that discerning open doors does not equate with guaranteed success.  When God called Jeremiah (the weeping prophet) and John the Baptist to walk through open doors, those open doors led to enormous difficulty, not external reward.

We learn through failure.  Courage and risk-taking are not developed through failure avoidance.  In Acts 16, Paul’s clarity on his life’s purpose enabled him to open spiritual doors for others, as John states:

“Paul chooses the greater door, even when it looks like failure.”

Today’s question: Has failure avoidance been an issue for you following your vocation loss?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The ultimate door”

About the author

Dave Henning


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