On Failure

Failure: Missing the opportunity to do something right.

The normal human reaction to failure is despair–the feeling that there’s no way to mend or escape the mess you’ve found yourself in.

If I think for a second that my failure is unique or a surprise to God, I believe a lie that His grace can’t cover every area of my life and that my weakness will not make His strength perfect. When that happens, and I give shame a place to take hold, I sink into a pit of despair that I don’t know how to get out of, and I’m usually not willing to find a way out in the first place.

Immediately after Jesus chastised the disciples for falling asleep while He was holding his vigil in the graden of Gethsemane, He said, “Get up! Let’s go!” On to the next thing! (Matt 26.46)

With Jesus, there is no room for self-pity. While His neverending grace is not an excuse for us to keep failing, it is not in His nature to dwell on the past. Let Him wash you clean, put the old you to death, and move on. We can’t afford to let anything tell us that we’re less significant than we are. If shame leads us anywhere but immediate repentance, it is our enemy.


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