As Christian students, we believe success is our portion in Christ (and that is true to the letter), we have the anointing that teaches and reminds us ALL things (I John 2:27), we pray and commit exams, tests and coursework into God’s hands and we expect the best. A number of us at one time or the other, irrespective of the above listed, experience the monster called -Failure-.
Failing can be a very sad and enervating experience. Be it in a quiz, test, examination, job interview or promotion interview at work, failure is an experience we rather not have. Failure can make a Christian student downcast, avoid fellowship with other believers, lose faith in God or even backslide completely. During my undergraduate study in the university, I was appointed the academic coordinator of my campus fellowship. This position made me understand what some other brethren were going through in their academics. I counselled many, organized tutorial classes and prayed fervently for my brethren. I had the statistics of the performance of my brethren across levels and this brought me closer to many of my brethren in the fellowship. This experience gave me first hand understanding of the impact failing a course or test can have on many a Christian student.
In order to understand failure and how to handle it, we need to know what failure is and is not.
- Prov. 24:16 ‘For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity’. The scripture is not saying you will fail ‘ODE or ‘Thermo’ seven times, but it sure says the righteous man (Christian student) may fall, but the good news is, he rises up again. Glory to God! Failing does not make you a failure, brother. Failure is not fatal. Refuse to be melancholic because of that job interview you didn’t ace, shrug off that mindset keeping you down due to the F in ‘Chem 101’. For those of us who watch heavy weight boxing, the first step to remaining in the fight after being knocked down is rising. The righteous man rises again, you will rise again!
- Failure should make you do things differently. You can’t keep doing things same way and expect a different result. Failure should draw you closer to God, not the other way round. Failing should make you do some introspection and praying; what has been my study pattern? What went wrong? What should I do differently?
In Jeremiah 18:4, we see the clay marred in the hands of the potter as he was trying to fashion out what he had in mind with it. Just as the potter took the broken vessel and reforged it, we should hand our broken CGPA, CV etc to God in prayers and set out to work on the loopholes the Holy Spirit would have pointed out. Thomas Edison the famous scientist, after inventing the electric bulb following several failed attempts had this to say about failure ‘I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work’. You may need to adjust your personal study timetable, use the library more, attend tutorials, submit assignments and prepare well for exams, update your CV and cover letter etc. You may need to do things differently!
To be continued…
Justice Nwade is an avid reader and teacher, cofounder and writer at http://www.powertimes.com.ng. He is a director at Ecophilia Energy limited, an Energy professional and currently a postgraduate student in Chemical Engineering. He’s a son of the Most High God and is passionate about seeing young people play at the highest level in life.