In “Failing Forward,” John C. Maxwell shares powerful insights on turning failures into stepping stones for success. As a Christian non-fiction author, you can apply these principles to your writing and help your readers understand the importance of embracing their failures and learning from them. This mindset can positively impact their personal, professional, and spiritual lives.
Here are five takeaways from “Failing Forward,” along with biblical passages to support each one:
Maxwell emphasizes that failures are not the end, but rather, opportunities for growth and self-improvement. As a Christian author, you can encourage your readers to view their failures as chances to grow in their faith and character. The Bible also supports this view, teaching that challenges and setbacks can strengthen a person’s relationship with God:
- James 1:2-4: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
- Romans 5:3-5: “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
- Proverbs 24:16: “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.”
Takeaway #2: Embrace a positive attitude toward failure
Maxwell urges readers to develop a positive attitude toward failure. By reframing failures as learning experiences, your readers can cultivate resilience and perseverance. A positive attitude can also deepen their faith, as they trust in God’s guidance and wisdom through challenging times:
- Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
- Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
- Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Takeaway #3: Take responsibility for your actions
Maxwell stresses the importance of taking responsibility for your actions, including failures. By owning your mistakes, you become more self-aware and proactive in your decision-making, which ultimately leads to spiritual growth and maturity.
The Bible also teaches the importance of personal responsibility:
- Galatians 6:5: “For each one shall bear his own load.”
- Proverbs 28:13: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
Takeaway #4: Learn from your mistakes
Maxwell encourages you to actively learn from your mistakes and apply those lessons to future endeavors. You can (should) reflect on your past failures and find those valuable insights that can guide your future actions to success. The Bible also emphasizes the importance of learning from mistakes:
- Proverbs 19:20: “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.”
- Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.“
- Psalm 119:71: “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.”
Takeaway #5: Surround yourself with supportive people
In “Failing Forward,” Maxwell highlights the significance of having a strong support system. Use the power of surrounding yourself with positive, uplifting people who encourage your spiritual growth and personal development. The Bible also supports the importance of choosing your companions wisely:
- Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:33: “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’“
- Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Takeaway #6: Trust in God’s plan
Throughout the book, Maxwell touches on the importance of trusting the journey, even when facing failures. As a Christian author, you can encourage your readers to trust in God’s plan, as He works for their good even in the midst of adversity. The Bible consistently speaks of God’s guidance and providence:
- Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
- Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
- Psalm 37:23-24: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.”
By integrating these takeaways from “Failing Forward” into your life, you’ll be guided by biblical wisdom as you navigate any failures or setbacks and empower yourself to make meaningful changes in your life while strengthening your faith and growing as a person.
Incorporate the principles outlined in “Failing Forward” into your Christian non-fiction writing so you can provide your readers those same valuable insights and tools to help them navigate their failures and setbacks.
By incorporating these takeaways into your writing, you can emotionally impact your readers, and empower them to make positive changes in their lives, too.