The Blame Game, Dealing with Failure – Part 3

22 March 2009


  1. Introduction:

·   What it means to be an Apostolic people is to recognize the assignment God has.

·   Reject the blame game in full and change knowing that you can do something in life.

·   In the church the idea was created that Christians cannot fail.

·   The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. Every time he fails God gets him back up again.

·   God always lifts people up again.

·   We all fail, we need to admit that. Take responsibility and acknowledge failure so that God can lift you up and you can change.

·   The Bible is full of glorious mistakes and failures.


  1. The Origin of the Blame Game = Failure:

·   You need to come to God because your life isn’t right.

·   God called Adam and asked 3 questions: ‘Where are you?’, “Who told you that you were naked?’, ‘Did you eat of the fruit of the tree?’

·   Genesis 3:7-13  -  “The woman who you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate”.

·   Blame = to place the responsibility for a failure, mistake on people or circumstances.

·   Adam -  refused to assume responsibility for his failure.

-          He blamed Eve and he blamed God.

-          He missed an experience/opportunity to grow.

-          When he blamed, God stopped talking.

-          He didn’t take responsibility and had to face the consequenses.

·   When Adam refused to take responsibility for his failure he experienced full consequences of it.

·   Blaming may make you feel better (not responsible) but it does not solve the problem.

·   We live in a blame Culture – people fail to assume responsibility.

·   The path to empowerment = take responsibility to make things better.


  1. Failures and Mistakes are Certain:

·   1 John 1:10  -  “If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His trust is not in us”.

·   Two things are certain in life – death and failure/mistakes.

·   What ever you are good at now you probably failed the 1st time you tried it.

·   Every person fails at some time – you must learn to benefit from mistakes and failures.

·   The Bible abounds in Failures of People, e.g.:

·         Abraham lied about his wife

·         Isaac lied about his wife

·         Jacob deceived his father

·         Moses murdered a man

·         Rahab was a prostitute

·         Gidean was full of fear

·         Barak lacked courage

·         Samson got involved with Delilah

·         Jepthah – his mother was a prostitute and he made a foolish vow.

·   Yet, in spite of the mistakes the Holy Spirit calls them “Men of Faith” – Hebrews 11

·   God sees people not in the light of their mistakes but in the light of their destiny and their response.

·   He does not overlook failures but He does not focus on them – He imparts Grace.

·   What matters is how people respond! What do you do with your failures?

·   We deceive ourselves if we think we cannot fail, we’ll say that God is a liar.

·   Deal with mistakes honestly.

·   There are magnificent failures and glorious mistake all through the Bible.

·   God looked above their failures and each of these people was men and woman of faith and they owned their mistakes.

·   Failure = if we handle it right it is a start of a new opportunity.

·   With risks will be failure, something could go wrong. We cannot fulfill our destiny if we don’t take any risks.

·   Destiny requires faith, and faith requires taking risks.

·   Many people think – “you are unacceptable because you have failed”.

·   Grace abounds with failure – Handle failure right. We can either help people with a failure mentality in this or we can keep them in their failure by accusations.

·   We can either connect to them with Jesus Christ or we can accuse them like Satan.

·   Grace = empowerment to get out. Step up and own failures. Come with a massage of hope, faith and that something positive can happen.


  1. Key to Dealing with Failures:

a)     Example – David: 1 Chronicles 13:1-14

·         David’s failure was a public spectacle – seen by the whole nation.

·         He made many mistakes, sometimes thousands died.

·         God showed him where he went wrong, but David acknowledged his mistakes and learned from his failures.

·         Note: David’s responses:

(1)   Anger  - 1 Chronicles 13:11

(2)   Learned from his experiences – 1 Chronicles 15:11-13

·         David did not allow his failures to hold him back from his dream.

·         He learned from his failure and became successful.

·         All failures/mistakes can be stepping stones to growth if we respond well!


b)     Keys to Dealing with Failures:

(1)   Own Your Failures – Proverbs 28:18

·         Put your arms around it, take it home and become responsible for it.

·         If we cover our failures/mistakes we cannot progress or move forward.

·         Call it what it is: ‘I failed’, ‘I made a mistake’, ‘I was wrong’, ‘I messed up’ – own your mistakes.

·         Pride = I just want to look good.

·         Genesis 3:11  -  “Adam blamed Eve and God.

·         1 Samuel 13:11-12  -  Saul blamed people, circumstances and God. He just wanted to look good.

·         2 Samuel 12:13  -  David: ‘I have sinned against the Lord’.

·         Don’t hide from failure – embrace it and learn from it.

·         Humility – seeing life from Gods point of view.

·         Perfectionism – controlling alert for failures, weaknesses, imperfections – unacceptable.

Image conscious – wants to look good at all costs e.g. Saul – 1 Samuel 15:24-25

·         Perfectionism = birthed out of failure and pride, and is intolerant of people making mistakes.

·         People who own their mistakes are much easier people to relate to.


(2)   Evaluate Your FailuresProverbs 2:2

a)     Your Feelings?

·         Disappointment? Discouragement? Loss of Hope? Shame? Guilt? Inferior? Ashamed? Disheartened?

·         What is going on in your heart?

b)     Your Responses?

·         How do you respond when you fail? What pattern?

·         Bible examples:

            -     Adam = covered and blamed – Genesis 3:7-11

-          Uzziah = got angry, bullied – 2 Chronicles 26:19

-          Elijah = depressed, withdraw – 1 Kings 19:4-9

-          Moses = ran away – Exodus 3:15

-          Peter = wept – Luke 22:62

-          Judas = hanged himself – Matthew 27:5

·         What do you do? = angry? Blame self? Blame others? Give up? Distract? Deny? Make excuses? Avoid it? Try to compensate by pointing out an area of strength.

·         It is hard for Christians to own up to their mistakes. What do you do? Are you growing and taking on new challenges in faith?

·         God can take a mistake/failure to turn you around to get you to your destiny and purpose.


(3)   Learn from Your FailuresProverbs 24:30-34

·         Use your failure to learn and gain wisdom.

·         Questions that could be asked to improve or prevent failure!

What did I do wrong?               What did I do right?            

What have I missed?                 What choices did I have? 

What weaknesses?                   What can I learn?

What new skills?                         What support have I got?


(4)   Receive ForgivenessProverbs 28:18

·         The devil is an accuser – constantly eroding confidence by accusing – Revelation 12:10

·         Whatever is condemned/judged gets worse.

·         Forgiveness and grace release you to start again.

·         To Receive Forgiveness: You must talk to God – honesty – ask forgiveness

 You must talk to people – open up – apologize

-    no accusations

-    seek forgiveness

·         Talk to God about your problem, just to say ‘I’m sorry’ is not good enough.

·         Just ‘I’m sorry” = ‘blow, I got caught out’.

·         Tell Him about it and how grieved you are about injuring the relationship. The Holy Spirit was grieved too - damage to the relationship. ‘Forgive me for grieving the Holy Spirit’.

·         People = ‘I am sorry’ is not always good enough. Acknowledge how the relationship was damaged.

·         A good meaningful apology acknowledges and understands how a person was hurt.


(5)   Move onHebrews 10:35-36

a)     Go again:

·         All great accomplishments require persistence e.g. Moses kept confronting Pharaoh until he got a breakthrough.


b)     Have a Funeral – something died, grieve over it, let it go.

·         Sometimes you have to admit that something has ended e.g. relationship.

·         Genesis 19:26  -  Lots wife kept looking back and turned to salt.

·         Failure or loss must be grieved over like burying a body.

·         God is able to bring good out of all things  -  Romans 8:28

·         Trust Him; Take the first step to a fresh start.

·         It is better to learn from little failures by dealing with them, by the time we need to deal with big failures we would know how to.