Years ago I worked with a man who relished the opportunity to show me where I had failed. At one point after I had worked hard, he sat down and spent a long time delineating my failures. That’s what he called them. He said that I had failed in this, failed in that, etc. When he was done, I was discouraged and depressed. All I could think about was leaving that situation, which I did very soon afterward. The night before I left town, the church had a little party for us and this pastor spoke so highly of my accomplishments and character. None of it meant anything to me. Failure rang in my ears for a long time.
Is that what we will face in Heaven? Will the Lord sit us down and point out our failures? Even if He doesn’t call them sins, won’t we feel shame and guilt if He shows us times when we could have done something for Him but failed? I really do understand the motivation that might provide for believers in this life, but it seems so inconsistent with the overwhelming message of love throughout the Scriptures.
Listen: God is not surprised with our failure. That’s why we need a Savior. Through our days in this world we are learning that we no longer have to walk alone, in our own strength and wisdom. We are learning. That means that we aren’t at the end yet. Three steps forward, two steps back; maybe even four steps back sometimes. None of that matters. What matters is that we learn to walk with Him. Along the way we will fail. And every time we have an opportunity to be thankful for the One who is greater than our failures.