The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
—Proverbs 12:15

When you see somebody else fail, there are three questions you ought to ask.

  1. What wrong assumptions, attitudes, or habits led to that person’s downfall?
  2. Have I adopted some of those same assumptions, attitudes, and habits in my life?
  3. What can I do differently to avoid the same pitfall?

If you have made a big mistake in life, stop churning over your failure, and start learning from your failure. Instead of having a pity party about the consequences you are experiencing from your first-act failure, why not start learning from those mistakes so you can begin your second act? There are three people you should consult after your failure so that you can learn from it.

First, there are some questions you ought to ask other people. Find one or two people in your life who care about you deeply, want to see you succeed, and will tell you the truth about your life. When you fail big time, you can go to these people to ask four important questions.

  1. Why do you think I failed?
  2. What wrong attitudes or assumptions do you think led to my failure?
  3. If you were me, what would you have done to avoid this mistake?
  4. Do you know anybody who has gone through the same thing I have and recovered from it that I could learn from?

Second, these are some important question to ask yourself after a first-act failure.

  1. Have I really failed or just fallen short of an unrealistic goal?
  2. Is my failure primarily the result of other people, or is it because of adverse circumstances, or is it my own wrong choices?
  3. What positive lessons have I already learned from this failure?
  4. Has my relationship with God been a priority in my life?

And that leads to the most important person to consult with after your first-act failure: God. Nobody knows you better and wants to see you succeed more than your Creator. We need God’s perspective when we screw up. Here are four questions to ask God after you have failed.

  1. Am I doing something in my life that displeases You?
  2. What changes could I make in my life right now that would please You the most?
  3. Am I more concerned with Your approval or with the approval of other people?
  4. Do my standards of success coincide with Your standards of success?

It’s important after we fail that we know how to ask the right questions. We need to consult with ourselves, with other people, and certainly with God.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Don’t Mess Up for Free” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.