The Righteous Keep Trying

Yael Eckstein  |  June 13, 2023

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for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
    but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes. —
Proverbs 24:16

As we celebrate the men in our lives this month, enjoy these devotions looking at the defining characteristics of godliness that we can glean from the biblical men of faith—and how we can pass on those values to our children.

What would you do if you knew that you had no chance of failing? Imagine the freedom to be successful at absolutely anything you might choose! Would you devote your time to making a lot of money? Would you conduct medical research to save lives?

The truth is that a life without the chance of failure would be a disaster. Although failure is painful and we try to avoid it, without failure we never really grow. I remember when my kids were young and starting school, they would all get perfect grades on their tests in first and second grade.

Was I proud of them? Of course I was, to a point. Because, as all adults know, until we taste the sting of failure, we never really learn how to persevere and work hard.

How many dreams are never pursued because of our fear of failure? How many cures has the world missed out on because someone was afraid to apply to medical school or was discouraged by a bad grade?

So much human potential is wasted, not because we failed, but because we were afraid to try again. We must always remember that everyone fails sometimes—and that’s okay. The important thing is to get up and continue on.

The Righteous Keep Trying

King Solomon knew this lesson well. He wrote, “Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” The Hebrew word for “though” in this verse is ki, which also means “because.”

In other words, another way to read this verse is, “Because the righteous fail seven times, they rise again.” Does that make sense? Think about it. How many times do we give up after failing once or twice?

This verse describes the perseverance of a righteous man who keeps at it even as he fails seven times! Faith in yourself in the face of repeated failure is the true sign of coming success.

The wicked, on the other hand, “stumble when calamity strikes.” As soon as they fail, they stop trying. Both fall down, but the righteous person gets up after failing. A righteous person will never give up. The righteous keep trying.

Your Turn:

Whether we’re trying to reach a lofty goal, or just trying to become better people, we must remember this wise advice: We don’t become failures when we fail. We only become failures when we stop trying.