A list of failures

How I will face each day – I will do the work that a failure and undisciplined person will not do. _Og Mandino, The World’s Greatest Salesman

 This may be a little counterintuitive, but I suggest you start a (very private) list of losers and failures and review that list regularly.

I started this years ago and have developed an all-star list of losers and failures. My list includes people from all walks of life—both public figures and “regular” people.

It includes people that jettisoned their ministries, careers, influence and reputation, adulterers/adulteresses who threw away the love of their life and greatly diminished their ability to be a parent to their children, embezzlers who sold their future for a few dollars, liars, cheats, perverts… the list could go on.

Some are in prison, others forever disgraced, most destined to live far beneath what they could have been and all forever scarred by their failure.

I do this, not to gloat or to feel superior but to remind myself of the consequences of sin, of “easing up”, “coasting”, and letting my guard down.

With almost six decades of battling my own fallenness and almost four decades of ministering to a wide variety of people, I have come to understand the danger of not thinking through the consequences of my actions, of thinking it will be different for me.

I can’t tell you the times I’ve said to myself, “What were they thinking?” (And of course, they were not thinking—they didn’t keep a “failure list”.)

The regular review of my ever-growing failure list helps me think. My list reminds me that all people (including me) are subject to sin and failure, that none of us are exempt from temptation, that if I stop doing the things that are required to live a good and godly life I will immediately begin drifting into doing the things that failures and undisciplined people do.

  • The ONE THING for today: A meaningful and truly successful life is about making high-stake decisions with permanent consequences. Being intentional about having role-models to teach you what not to do is just as important as having role models that teach you what to do. 


James 1:14-16 (NKJV)

But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.


3 thoughts on “A list of failures

  1. This blog really makes me look into myself and see imperfections! I never thought I was perfect, but um um! Something to really think about and work on!


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