When We Fail

When We Fail

Dear Friends,

We all will fail at some point in our life. No one we know is perfect.  I would bet that most of us could readily give an account of some past failure that, at the time, seemed like the end of the world.  God knows we’re going to fail every once in a while. Yet, He also stands by us and helps us get back on our feet. Is it easy to accept failure? No. Can it make us depressed and feel down? Yes. Yet, God is there to help us work through our predicament.  Psalm 40:2 (NIV)
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

Failing is a learning experience so we can do better next time. There were many Biblical leaders who failed; Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter and Paul just to name a few.  But they learned from their mistakes and kept moving forward. Determination and failure lead to success. We fail and we get up and try again. Eventually we will get it right.

When someone asked about his many failures prior to inventing the incandescent light bulb, Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  He went on to say, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”  True failure is not even trying to get back up, but just quitting. We could have been so close, but we decide it’s not going to work and quit.

There are many ways to fail.  We can fail ourselves by not achieving our goals. We can fail others by not living up to their expectations or our promises to them. We even fail God by not following His commands, guidance or character.  But God is always near and if we fall, He’ll pick us up and set us back on our feet.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that there are not consequences for our failures.   Certainly, there are!  They are part of the process and help us to remember and avoid repeating our mistakes.

Likewise, part of overcoming our failures, particularly when we fail others or God, is owning up to our mistakes.  God wants us to acknowledge our shortcomings.   That allows healing and forgiveness and enables us to work to better ourselves. James 5:16 (NIV) “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…” and, 1 John 1:9 (NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Failures need not define us.  There is always hope and God stands ready to help us through.  We need only humble ourselves, admit our failure and try again. 

Only by Grace,

Pastor Mike