Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

You Are Not a Failure Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

You Are Not a Failure Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

If some experience has made you feel like you are a failure, maybe it's time to reconsider things - see them in a new light.

A while ago, I had one of those times when I felt I'd failed at something for which I had truly tried hard. I was tempted to chew myself out about it.

Then I began to think about things differently. This change of view didn't come about all at once. But little by little, I began to see different aspects of the experience that showed me how much I'd grown. I became aware of some significant steps that had been taken. In the end, I saw, there had been good results from all my labors. I saw that my honest effort to achieve something good was not a failure at all, even though I had not achieved my original objective. I felt encouraged.

What brought this new view of myself and of this experience was my prayer. Just how did I go about it? I prayed a specific kind of prayer, the kind of prayer that Jesus Christ taught.

In the book of Mark in the Bible, Jesus is quoted as saying, "I tell you, whatever you pray for and ask, believe you have got it, and you shall have it" (11:24, "A New Translation," by James Moffatt). All our right and good thinking comes from God and expresses God. I had been praying to achieve good results in my work. And I knew that through my prayer God would give me the right understanding I needed in this experience. Every time we pray to know and do what is good, God answers our prayer.

If we are tempted to think of ourselves as fault-ridden mortals, we miss the mark; we fall short of the good we are capable of right now, this moment. To chew ourselves out for what we've missed out on or for mistakes we've made is a little like driving a car that gets stuck in the mud. We can't move forward when we're focused on faults.

That was the first lesson I learned. Praying to God, to understand Him better and to become more like Him, turns our thought away from ruminating on what we regret or wish we had done differently. …

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