Have you ever failed at something? Something big?
I know that I have plenty of failures in my life and I suspect that pretty much everybody does.
And the hard thing about failure isn't always the failure itself, it's often the shame or the guilt that can come from knowing that you've let other people (or God) down. It's the hit to our pride when our perceptions of ourselves change because of it.
And if we're not careful, that shame or guilt becomes the gift that keeps on giving because we have an enemy who likes to remind us of all the times that we've failed.
I don't want to minimize the reality of failure
To be sure, there are some who would tell you that failure doesn't matter. That it's just a learning. And to an extent, they're right.
But that doesn't mean it doesn't matter. It just means that if we're able to get back up, learn something, and move on, the failure isn't a total loss.
In terms of learning to do something or pursuing a valuable but difficult goal, that is accurate. If we are rejected as we share God's love, we should certainly learn from it and continue on.
Much like an athlete building stamina or a musician learning an instrument, those “failures” are just a stopping point on the path to improvement and greatness.
But whether our failures are learning opportunities or experiences where we let God and others down, they share a common thing that Jordan Boom shared with us.
Failure highlights our dependence on God.
– Jordan Boom
And when we realize (or remember) that we are fully reliant on God, we are able to do two powerful things that no guru can share from ancient worldly wisdom.
- Take our failures of any kind to God
- Accept His complete forgiveness and the strength to go on
To put it bluntly, that's POWERFUL!
There is no mind game or exercise that we can do that will replace or improve on the reality of God's sacrifice on our behalf and the strength of the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a life worthy of God's calling. And we have a high and holy calling.
Whether we are called to apparent greatness or lowest servitude, our calling in Christ is always this – to show God's glory on the earth through everything we think, do, and say. To be transformed into the image of God. To be ambassadors of the Kingdom. To be reconcilers. To make peace. To love and be loved.
And He allows (and empowers) us to do all of that in spite of our history of failure. In spite of our sinful past. In spite of our weakness. Because it's His power in us that allows it to happen.
We need to be reminded of this
Maybe you needed this today. As it turns out, I did – because as I was sharing this with you, I was encouraged in my walk.
Sometimes it's easy to allow the lesser voices to speak more loudly in our lives. But God can still speak to the core of who we are in an instant through a still small voice.
Maybe He spoke to you today. Maybe He will speak to someone else through you today.
But we remember this much: His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12, vs 9), He is faithful to complete the work that He began in us (Philippians 1, vs 6), and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8, vs 38-39).