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A Successful Failure

“Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but

righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:16-17).

“And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken

of” (2 Peter 2:2). 

“Know therefore and see that it is an evil thing” (Jeremiah 11:19).

Decades have come and gone with the advent of the on-line merchants who have left a trail of once

flourishing businesses―now shuttered un-recognizable hulks of memory on the Main streets of towns across

the nations. A certain respect, however, needs to be given to those who once were the founders of these large

commercial entities of yesterday. After all, they often were the very means of support and employment for our

fathers and mothers just escaping from the ravages of a World War.

The following story was told and published in the Christian Herald magazine by a young business man

attempting to ‘get started in business.’ Follow his words, remembering the he, too, had hopes and dreams and a

family to support. Listen:

“It was just after I had begun to feel the thrill of success as a clerk in a Hamilton, Missouri, store that my

health failed. With thirty dollars in my pocket I started West. Often since that day I have seen other men start

West―some of them with suffering bodies. I am never able to escape the memory of the deep concern with

which I left my old associations to make my way in a new territory.

Arriving in Colorado, I purchased a butcher shop, though I knew nothing of the butcher business―

unless my experience with a little Berkshire pig may be regarded as an apprenticeship.

I was told that the best customer was a certain hotel cook, that he was regular and liberal so long as he

was supplied each week with a quart of whiskey. I thought the matter through, and it seemed to me that if this

was the custom, and if it got the business, I was justified in making the investment.

I bought the quart of whiskey―just once. Then I remembered my father’s deep convictions. He

was an unfaltering opponent of alcohol. I knew that I could never buy another quart of whiskey for any

man! I went to the cook and told him my conclusion. He took his business to another shop and my

butcher-shop business failed.

That failure was one of the most fortunate experiences of my life. I know now that it was not a failure, and that

I would have been worse than a failure had I gone back with the second quart of whiskey.” ― J. C. Penny.

So many times over the years in my preaching I’ve had occasion to use a phrase that is so full of meaning. I use

it again today: “No Failure Need Be Permanent.” If you fall―get back up!

Francis Mason

Pastor Mason

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