Failures. We all experience them. Spiritually, I think we are very hard on ourselves when we miss the mark or when we get so caught up in the dailies of life that we feel like we’ve failed God.
That couldn’t be farthest from the truth. God completely understands our frame more even than we understand ourselves. Some of the Bible ‘greats’ had failures – big ones – and were able to continue in their spiritual relationship with God and with others.
There are a few things we have to remember when we experience failures in our life and when we feel saddened by them.
There’s only ONE who was and is completely PERFECT. That is Jesus Christ. He came to live as a man not only to pay for the penalty for all mankind’s sins, but also to demonstrate his compassion and empathy toward us. Jesus became tired and hungry as well as dealing with difficult situations. Through it all, He remained perfect in his actions.
Not so for his close friends and disciples. Constantly, Jesus was teaching them over and over again principles that they would eventually understand, but even being that close to Jesus didn’t guarantee that they would learn right away and walk perfect lives. They learned from their errors and changed their lives. They continued to move forward so that they could help others. Their lives were demonstrated in the final commandment – to love God and to love others.
Prophets and Kings failed God, but He continued to use them. What is important in the lessons of their mistakes and in their lives is that they had a complete repentance. They viewed their sins the way God did and turned from their ways…sometimes over and over again.
1. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Growing and learning sometimes comes when we fail. If we didn’t fail we wouldn’t have learned some very important things in our lives. One of the most and best lesson is the realization of God’s complete love and forgiveness toward us. God keeps His promises and He said that if we repent He WILL forgive. He also knows our future and has a plan for us – in this plan, perhaps, includes the failures so that we cam be more ‘usable’ for Him. When we learn and move forward from our failings, we too can have more empathy towards others.
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
We Fail Forward. When we fail, and we will from time to time, over and over again, the most important thing is to acknowledge it and to move forward. Get up! Keep Going! Start Over. We all could probably attest to the many ‘start overs’ in our lives.
Failing Forward Can Restore Relationships. There’s nothing we can do or nothing others can do that cannot be forgiven. If God can totally forgive everyone of their sins, how can we do less. Forgiving ourselves and forgiving others frees us to be better selves and better towards one another.
Acts 3:19-20 “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,”
We Can Be Used By God After Failures. There are so many examples in the Bible of people being used by God for His purpose after a big or notable failure…So, if they can be used and if they can move forward – so can we.
Don’t Wallow or Don’t Give Up. Don’t make the failure the THING. Don’t allow your failures to define you. Don’t give up and think things can’t get better or you can’t do better. Because, here’s the great part, through Christ we can do any thing!
Feeling Sad About Failures is Natural. When we disappoint ourselves we will feel saddened or even depressed. Don’t stay there. Know that it is natural and determine to move forward. Read encouraging scripture; pray more and get up mentally and physically. Get involved in doing something good for someone else. When you do, you make yourself available to be used by God…and who knows where that can lead.
Isaiah 43:19, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
God Never Gives Up On Us. Simple. He doesn’t So, we should never give up on ourselves or on others. When we fail, we forgive ourselves. When others fail, we should forgive them. Life is full of failures and falling down – let’s make sure their even as or more full of getting up and starting over…again and again.
Isaiah 40:28 “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.”