I’m examining some steps to recover from failure. The first essential step is to admit the failure and confess it, without excuses. To accept the blame and responsibility for your failure.

The next step is to ask God if there is someone else to whom you should confess your failure and/or ask for forgiveness. This is hard to do, I know, but it is really a necessary step in recovering from failure. Let me tell you this: It’s not nearly as difficult as it seems. The decision is the hard part. You will be amazed at the great freedom and relief that will flood your heart and mind once you’ve confessed your failure to God and to any others where necessary.

The third step is to analyze your failure so you can learn from it. Was the failure one that you could see coming, or did it take you by surprise? For example, you may have failed in your moral behavior because you allowed yourself to get involved in a relationship which you knew from the beginning was not right. Perhaps you started lowering your standards one by one, little by little, until you found yourself in moral failure. That’s a failure that could have been foreseen; you knew it was a snake when you picked it up, so you should have known it would bite you.

It’s helpful to retrace your steps and discover precisely where you made the first mistake which led to the failure. What was the first standard you lowered? What are the biblical principles you ignored? How did you justify and rationalize your behavior? It would be a good idea to write those things down, and ask the Spirit of God to show you clearly how this failure developed.

In this way, you can very precisely confess your failures to God, and know exactly where you need to fortify your life to prevent that same pattern from occurring again.

Perhaps, however, your failure really was not something you saw coming. It’s important you understand how it could have taken you unaware. Where do you need to fortify your mind so that you are not vulnerable in that area any longer?

I want to encourage you to take responsibility for your failures, confess them to God—and others, if necessary—and seek to learn from them.