For reading & meditation – Ecclesiastes 7:21-29
“So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom …” (v. 25)
What steps must we take, when broken by failure, to ensure that we become strong at the place of weakness? Keep in mind that the principles we are considering are not only corrective, but also preventative. The first thing we should do, whenever we have failed in anything, is to analyze the reason for the failure. These are some of the questions you should ask yourself: Have I contributed in any way to this failure by such things as inattention to detail, lack of preparation, naivet?, wrong timing, disregard of moral principles, or insensitivity to other people?s feelings? Another question is: What does God want me to learn from this failure? It is difficult, of course, to sit down and question yourself like this when failure strikes; but, as soon as possible after the event, try to assess the lessons that can be learned by honestly facing your emotions – such as hurt, anger, anxiety. Remember, when we stop learning, we stop living. Yet another question to ask yourself is this: Has God allowed this failure so that His purposes for me might be made clear? I know a man, well-known in evangelical circles, who, when he was in his teens, mapped out a career for himself. Although a brilliant student, he failed the entrance examination into his chosen profession. When the news was broken to him, he simply said, “Lord, I just know You are involved in this: what do You want me to do?” This was the moment God had been waiting for, and He showed him a new path that has made him Christ’s ambassador to millions.
Father, help me to face my failure in the knowledge that some good can be wrested from even the most depressing circumstances. Show me that incisive questions can bring incisive answers. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What are the characteristics of earthly wisdom?
2. How are we to obtain wisdom?