I'm adding to the earlier piece about failure, because I "failed" to make clear a critical point: namely, the word "failure" is just that, a word, just like chair or warm, without any clear content.
But we use the word specifically when we conceive of ourselves, our efforts, as failures.
Or when we label someone "a failure."
How do we know?
The point of our faith: only God knows the difference between good and evil, between failure and success.
Our task: render up to God the data of our lives, just as they are. Only God knows for sure, and in the end, God is at work in all things for good.
None of us are what we shall be in Christ. But until that time, we press on, as Paul did, to the upward calling, forgetting what lies behind.