On my wedding day, with a hundred or more family and friends gathered in my parent’s backyard, as a pregnant teenager I was about to marry the father of my unborn child. But I clearly heard a strong voice in my heart that inaudibly spoke, “Do not marry this man!” I did anyway so that I would not expose myself to the disdain of others and stacked another failure upon the already obvious moral failure in the presence of my life’s people. Failure was inevitable. That failure to stop the wedding led me into a horrible nightmare of crime and abuse that was difficult to break free from due to fear.
I have failed. Too many times to count. In my less mature years, I used to cower away from my failures with shame and feel as though I needed to go into hiding for a time in order to save face. I was so concerned with the appearance of not being a failure in other’s eyes.
But God is my rescuer, despite the fact that I had ignored His voice on that wedding day. He always has more grace to give. In the midst of that failure, God gave me another gift; a second child born to this man, who would end up ultimately playing a key role in my rescue; saving my life from suicidal thoughts, and helping to lead me to salvation through Christ.
Now, as I have grown in my relationship with Jesus Christ, I am able to embrace failure and see the positive effect that it can have on us to learn, grow and live life abundantly. Failure is inevitable. God knew that of mankind once sin made its entrance into humanity, and so His plan of redemption from that sin was birthed in the divine man of Jesus Christ. By His grace alone, we have been saved. All of our sins past, present and future have already been nailed to the cross and cast as far as east to west with a life resurrected from glory to glory. God sees those who believe and have accepted His Son, Jesus as righteous. It is God’s righteousness that He exchanged for our sin on the cross.
“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.”
Fear of failure causes paralysis and stagnancy of life. It misses out on the potential of what it can grow to be.
We WILL fail as God’s righteous children, over and over until we are perfected and our soul is with Him in Heaven. However, our righteousness never makes US a failure. Our life was worth God sending His Son to die for. We are victorious overcomers through Christ and an important step to walking in that victory is to answer God’s call to impart the grace and forgiveness that we have received for ourselves onto everyone else that have failed.
It is grace that causes us to run toward Jesus in these times of failure. It is shame and condemnation that causes us to run away from Jesus and try to hide.
When we fail forward and learn from our mistakes, not fearing the failure, we find life and life more abundant; richness of life that we may have never known if we would have never fallen and discovered and walked with grace experientially.
Thomas Edison was mocked and shamed by others for his persistence to get a lightbulb to work after he failed at his attempts thousands of times. I love his perspective, though.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
He kept learning from his mistakes, not shamed by the mocking naysayers, and life became more abundant and filled with light rather than clouded with darkness.
I choose to be an encourager with grace and point people in the direction of running toward Christ in the midst of the consequences of their failures, rather than a discourager that contributes to the building up of a prison of shame and stagnancy.
Growing in Grace,