Monday, June 25, 2012

Are Failures Fatal?

Did you ever want to crawl under a table because you said or did something inconsiderate or unkind?  It happened to me just yesterday.  It was just a stupid little thing, but I knew the minute I did it that it offended a dear brother in Christ and it was so unnecessary.

As soon as I could, I apologized to him, and I'm sure he truly forgives me.  But you know, he'll probably remember that for awhile and it will most likely have somewhat of a chilling impact on our relationship.  

So, why would I do such a thoughtless thing?  That's what sticks in my mind.  After all, I talk about putting others first, displaying the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, loving each other--all those basic Bible truths.  I teach them and truly intend to practice what I teach.  But there I was, displaying anything but the fruit of the Spirit.

Why?  Because I was thinking about me--what I had to do, how my time was limited, where I needed to go.  I was more important to me than anything or anyone else for that moment--and just that quickly, that old selfish  me behaved the way it always does on its own.  

Well, do I just give up and call it quits?  Is there no hope that I'll ever truly be like Jesus?  Is it impossible for me to learn to be under the Spirit's control even when I'm under time or workload pressures?  Should I resign and hang my head in shame?

That wouldn't accomplish anything, would it?  What I can and have done--and will do--is confess again my sinful, selfish heart, ask for forgiveness, then pick up the pieces and go forward.  It's humbling, and I need to be humbled quite frequently, but it's not fatal.  That's because we have a God of grace who specializes in using broken vessels and damaged goods!  

These failures we experience, whether large or small, should be teaching moments for us.  Rather than driving us away from God's purposes for our lives, they should shape us more and more, little by little, into the image of Jesus.   The next time I'm in a similar spot, if I have learned my lesson well, I will handle it more like Jesus and so even this failure will be used for good in my life.

Be encouraged today.  Your failures are not fatal.  Join hands with me as we continue to grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Mary Whelchel

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