This morning I was listening to a podcast sermon, and I thought the topic was perfect for our students and their families. Indeed the topic is great for anybody. The message was simple; “Do not be afraid of failure.” The speaker talked about how the fear of failure has reached endemic levels with our children and as we all know this is readily evident in the adult world. Fortunately, failure is a part of life. The apostle Peter is widely considered one of the most important or influential of all the disciples. It was Peter that Jesus spoke to when he said: “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). It was also this trusted disciple that failed when he denied Christ not once, but three times (John 18:15-27). In many ways, Peter represents all human beings in a sense that in one moment he is immensely faithful and the next moment he fails in his faith. Although Peter failed, he ultimately did become the rock which provided the foundation for the church.
I saw the same message in the secular world echoed by Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon. Mr. Bezos believes that when he is older, it will not be the failures that he regrets, but instead, it will be the opportunities that he never took because he was scared of failing. We should always remember that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. We can’t be afraid to apply ourselves fully to our endeavors. For students, and all people it is still easier to fail a test we did not adequately prepare for than one in which they felt they prepared. I encourage our students to apply themselves fully to their studies, and if a disappointing grade is still the result, it then becomes a learning opportunity. How can failing become a learning opportunity? Is it in our ability to understand ourselves, our shortcomings and the ability to develop the perseverance to look for a new approach? Although when we find ourselves in these moments, it can be discouraging, we need to remember that failing well is the key to success.