Failure Is Not An Option: Biblical Tips for Teens on Overcoming Failure
Here’s something guaranteed: there will be days when you wish you’d just stayed in bed. You know how it starts. You wake up late, you have a bad hair day, and the school bus or family car has either left you behind. Your car won’t start. Then, it rains badly, and you have to commute. Then the teacher springs the surprise quiz, or your boss springs a new job on you. You get the point.
This can get frustrating. Makes you want to punch a wall.
Spare your knuckles. We’ve got great tips on how you can overcome failure.
GET OVER YOUR BROKEN HEART
So the person with whom you though you would spend the rest of your life turns out to be a major dud. Big deal. Here are some ways you can get over Mr. or Ms. Imperfect.
Know that relationships aren’t like exams. There is no perfect relationship, and you can’t study for it. Exams last two hours; relationships should last a lifetime. But, like an exam, it helps to prepare for it with the right mindset. Whether you’re 15 or 35, it always helps to enter a relationship with a lot of respect for your partner. If you can’t see yourself spending forever with this person, spare yourself the trouble.
Allow yourself to grieve. In 1999, an elephant once cried when a longtime companion did. If you want to cry, go ahead. Remember, though, that God has a magnificent plan for you, and you would do well to focus on that.
Don’t do anything stupid. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God…” (1 Cor 3:16-17, KJV) Your body is the temple, and it doesn’t need additional embellishments. so, if your girlfriend decides that it’s time to move on, that isn’t necessarily a sign you should get your ear, navel, nipple, or tongue pierced. It’s not a sign you should get a tattoo, or your hair shaved. Haste makes waste. If you really feel an itch to do something, try enrolling in a gym or buy a new pair of jeans. The best option, naturally, is to pray.
Forgive. Then have a bonfire. You’ve got to forgive the other person for hurting you, if in fact, you’re hurt. Actual aggression isn’t the best way of dealing with it, and we’re practical people. If your former flame won’t take back the stuff they gave you, burn ‘em. Or hold on to the stuff and hide them, then laugh years later when you’re over it, and see what kind of people you dated back then.
ACING AN UPCOMING EXAM
Quick quiz quandaries. Emergency exam experiences. Frustrating final follies. How to get over them? Here are eight great tips.
Know your schedule. Rare (and not evil) is the teacher who springs instant quizzes. Oftentimes, teachers will announce their tests ahead of time; some even plan in advance. Buy a date book or use your computer’s Microsoft Outlook to plan out your schedule so you’ll never be caught unaware. Proverbs 10:5 says “he who gathers crops in the summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.” Study at the right time; it prevents cramming.
Avoid procrastinating. Procrasti-what? It just means don’t waste time and delay! Former US President Abraham Lincoln said “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Proverbs 10:4 says “lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.”
Get a study buddy. A friend can ask you questions to help you review, and he might be able to clear up certain parts of the lesson that you mayn’t have understood. You can make it a healthy competition, or work something out that you help each other out without the pressure of comparison.
Know what environment works best for you. Are you the type who can’t study with music or conversation in the background, or are you a student who can’t function without Nelly telling you how hot it is in here? Either way, go to the place where you can best study, and set things up so that you can get your notes in place.
Have study breaks. There’s only so much the human mind can take. Taking a break in the middle of your study session stops you from falling asleep, allows you to get your blood flowing, and rests your eyes from all that reading.
Ask the teacher questions. Don’t be afraid to ask the teacher if you don’t understand the lesson. Be respectful and explain that you simply don’t get it, because it’s always better to ask than to be quiet and simmer in your own confusion.
Two words: flash cards. It helps to make notes on index cards or Post-it’s for quick review during your commute to school so you can remember terms or formulas. Just don’t make them into cheat sheets. Rpoverbs 16:27 says “those who profit illicitly are headed for trouble.”
Get enough sleep. Burning the midnight oil won’t help you a bit if you’ll fall asleep during the test. Be sure not to bum yourself out too much in the process of your studying.
Pray. Don’t forget to pray, especially when you have time before the examination. Pray an honest, sincere prayer.
TRYING OUT FOR VARSITY
Some people are born great athletes; others train themselves to be great athletes, others can… well, cheer.
If you belong to the first two categories, well, congratulations, do write us about your success.
If you belong to the third category, well, here are some ways you can get over not making the team.
Train, because there could be a next time. You “can do all things through Christ who strengthens [you].” (Phil 4:13, NKJV). Practice won’t necessary make perfect, but it really makes a difference when you maintain a regular exercise routine that develops your skills and body parts for that particular sport for which you’re training.
In line with that, don’t be afraid. Fear can paralyze you, so try not to be nervous. Focus on the task at hand, but not so much that it stops you from actually performing your best. 2 Tim 1:7 tells us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” A top athlete is focused on the prize.
Try another sport. Knowing your body type might help you see what you’re best for. If you’re tall and lanky, then basketball may be the best option for you, but swimming is also a solid sport for your body type. Short and squat? Soccer or weights perhaps. You get the point. Remember: it’s just a game. Society today will tell you that sports is all about competition. That’s really odd, because we think it’s all about 1) fun; 2) fitness; and 3) fellowship. No sport can truly be that enjoyable for as long as there is nothing else in it to enjoy. So what if you got cut from the basketball team, or didn’t make it in the first place? If your heart is in it, get your buddies together and play in the street!
I wrote this article for “LIVEtheLIFE Magazine,” my now-defunct magazine for Christian teens.