The Agony of “De-Feet”| Share Success Stories but Emphasize Failures

In Your Testimony, To Be Real, Emphasize Failures & Sins over the Successes & Wins

I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. -2 Corinthians 12:5b

I noticed the liner of my free-heel ski boot started to wear unevenly. Each gliding step left an uncomfortable impression on the side of my foot. The thick sock provided a barrier of protection for a time. Eventually, the irritation consumed my attention. It was my first outing of the season on this gear. I vaguely recollect dealing with the same discomfort at the end of the prior ski season.

The day held a 23 mile trek across the mountains south of Vail pass with no exit until Minturn. I stopped several times making attempts to adjust the liner with no success. I had to weigh the cost of cold fingers against the nagging pain inside my boot.

Outdoor Leadership Training Tip | Test Your Gear Before Using It on a Long Journey

When the day ended I limped to the restaurant in town to consume a hefty bean and cheese burrito. With a satiated appetite and bandaged blister, I pondered this analogy to share with future adventurers: take a gear check-run prior to an enduring backcountry journey!

It’s good to share the success stories in our walk of faith — consider however, the failures are often more poignant. The heroes of the Bible offer real struggles for us to glean some serious insight – even better are our similar stories of failure and the eventual victory found in Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Share Your Stories of Failure Along with Your Success Stories

The intent of a leader is to provoke action to know the ONE who saves intimately. By sharing my sins (and failures) as much as my “wins” (and success stories) I accurately demonstrate myself as a credible sojourner not a superhero. Truthfully, Jesus encountered persecution, betrayal, and slander. He was lied to, beaten, and scorned by religious people and yet, He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). To think we will go through life without daunting obstacles, set-backs, and suffering is simply unbelievable to spiritual youth. Further, anyone who takes risks of faith with God will encounter a messenger of the devil along the way.

Even though our eternal inheritance is sealed upon the receiving of the Spirit of God (Ephesians 1:14), we are to live out our salvation with awestruck wonder of the God who saves (Philippians 2:12).

Authenticity Matters

If I only share the victories I do not make an impression of authenticity nor do I set-up a realistic picture of the path that will unfold for them. Consider 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 as a 4-step guide to share a testimony without sharing unnecessary details.

  • W   The Apostle Paul confesses his weakness which was conceit or pride.
  • E     Paul earnestly shares his battle to ward off the messenger of Satan who continually humbles him.
  • A     Paul asks Jesus to bring His power to rest on him because of this weakness.
  • K     He boasts of the King of Kings’ power not human strength, knowledge, wisdom, or reasoning.

Whether our weakness is anger, worry, fear or something all together different, the outcome is to know Christ and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10). Our testimony should always lead others to a greater dependency on Jesus – the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

Guest Blogger | Edy Sutherland

Edy is an outdoor adventure sport junkie, uses her experiences in the wilderness as the back story to write object lessons. She desires to build up the body of Christ to maturity to know God so intimately their souls joyfully sing “Wheee!” Edy’s blogs are where she develops the new lessons God is presenting to her. Visit her author site at


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

One thought on “The Agony of “De-Feet”| Share Success Stories but Emphasize Failures

Comments are closed.