We are all human. We are certainly imperfect. We will all make mistakes that cause defeats and setbacks. However, if wise, we will learn by trial and error. Sometimes we call that experience.

Experience with defeats and setbacks can build character. A character of greater empathy, humility, gratitude and resilience can develop from our failures.  Or our failures can also lead to discouragement, despair and anger.

We grow in the character as we make moral choices that instruct our heart. Each of us can choose right or wrong(sin). God did not make puppets. Look at the different reactions to setbacks and defeats of the following two characters in the Bible.

The mighty Pharaoh of Egypt was told by God to “let his people go”. Instead of  complying because of the the plagues, his heart hardened. Exodus 8:15 He could have sought to understand the God of Israel. However, he chose the path away from God.

Joseph, long before the Exodus, looked back at his overwhelming setbacks and said, God meant it for good. Genesis 50:20 His experiences of being sold into slavery by his brothers and being imprisoned falsely elevated his character eventually. By God's grace, Joseph rose to be second only to Pharaoh in Egypt. So Jacob and his brothers were saved from a wide spread famine. The earthly seed of Abraham was preserved.

In the life of a follower of Christ we learn by trials (experiences) that are permitted in our lives. Those setbacks and defeats are the chastening of a Loving and All Wise Heavenly Father. The purpose is to correct us so we may develop the fruit of a righteous character. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:11.

Our experiences of defeat and setback can be so valuable if we too are “exercised thereby”. That involves meditation on the scriptures, prayer and looking for God's leadings in all your experiences. May you be like the “just man”. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again …” Proverbs 24:16