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Hope for Failures  

You could almost wipe the saliva off my mouth. That’s the intensity I felt walking into the International Center at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado. I was there to attend Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild conference.

Plot structure, point of view, character development—this was the stuff I was longing to dig into. And dig we did (ur…not sure that last sentence would garner the approval of my instructors).

Anyway, we came to the last night of the conference where writer and Editor, Dr. Dennis Hensley spoke. Oddly enough (or, in retrospect, perhaps realistically enough) he spoke on failure.

If you’re new to the wisdom of “Doc Hensley,” he’s written 54 books, more than 150 short stories and 3,500 newspaper and magazine articles. From my hastily scribbled notes that night, here are a few of the thoughts he shared:

  • Success at anything comes slowly.
  • Mighty works come with time.
  • Success is never automatic—even in the service of the Lord

Tracking with me here? Now listen to this next observation from Dr. Hensley:

A legacy of failure among great leaders is common knowledge! So learn from your mistakes. Make adjustments! Improve. It does no good to dwell on past failures and poor starts.

He’s right, of course. I’m learning that Doc Hensley usually is. Which is why he also pointed us to another word of encouragement from Paul in Philippians 3:13,14:

…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.…

To which Doc Hensley simply added…

  • Past performance is no guarantee of future failure.
  • Past failures do not guarantee future failures!

Aren’t you glad?

I don’t know where you’re at in life right now. But if you’re like me, you’ve got a past failure or two or three, crumpled up in a back pocket of yours. And once in a while, you pull out one of those failures—and unfold it in your hands--reliving what might have been but wasn’t. Like cheap newsprint, it re-inks your hand and stamps your whole soul with feelings of inadequacy.

May I gently suggest you empty your pockets of those failures? Choose instead to "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  Press on!


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016