|dc.description.abstract||This study deals with the role that 'failure' plays in the lives of people, as seen
from a pastoral-theological perspective. In this respect, a number of
questions presented themselves, including;
How the phenomenon known as 'failure' is viewed within the community
of the secular sciences?
How is the phenomenon known as 'failure' viewed from a Biblical point
Can 'failure' be reversed and turned into something beneficial?
In the secular world, a 'failure' is seen as someone who does not live up to
expectations, or to a person who continually make mistakes and who does not
learn from the experience. There is scant room in the secular world for
'failure', and there is an enormous amount of pressure on individuals in society
to be 'successful.' This peer pressure to conform to certain expectations
carries with it a corresponding fear of 'failure', and therefore being rejected by
society. Scripture would appear to view 'failure' in a more lenient light, but at
the same time, carries a wider connotation to 'failure' than society does.
The purpose of this study is to investigate what is meant by 'failure', both from
a basis-theoretical and a meta-theoretical perspective, in accordance with
Zerfass's model, in order to develop a counselling model, designed to assist
counsellors in the counselling of people who suffer from the effects of 'failure'.
The basis-theoretical part of this study found that Scripture does not recognise
the phenomenon we call 'failure', apart from man missing God's mark, and
sinning. The greatest, or worst form of 'failure' encountered in Scripture is
indicative of the sinner not accepting the redemptive work of Christ, and being
condemned to perish in eternal damnation. What is colloquially known as
'failure', Scripture treats as stepping stones to success and sanctification.
The meta-theoretical part of this investigation brought up an interesting
thought: that 'failure' was learned behaviour, a negative set of values that
society impresses upon individuals to they must conform to. Where 'failure' is
experienced, society teaches the person to cope with 'failure' by utilizing
inherent strengths and negating weaknesses, rather than exploring the 'failure'
in an endeavour to mine the salient values that are present.
From an empirical research, using hermeneutic-phenomenological principles,
a model was developed that is intended to assist the counsellor in reversing
counselee 'failure' into success.
The conclusion of this research is that while broader society may not have an
answer to 'failure', pastoral-theology is perfectly positioned to assist with the
counselling of people who deem themselves to be 'failures’.||