My Failure

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.

5 Comments

Filed under Freedom, grace, Relationship

5 responses to “My Failure

  1. graceandgiggles

    Only 4 steps back? Ha ha!
    I wonder Dave……what did you learn and /or take away from that experience? Was there some grand lesson in it for your life? And no, I’m not a pshychologist, but I play one on t.v. (just teasing. I must have awakened on the goofy side of the bed this a.m.)
    You’re right though, we aren’t at the end! The Savior knows more about me, my heart, my motives and my needs than I do. And He is unfailingly caring for me with His astounding mercy and grace. Because of His blood, I will trust that my failures, my mistakes, my sins, or whatever anyone wants to call them, they are atoned for. Period. It was finished! He said nothing more about it. Hallelujiah!

    • Not only were our failures washed away at the cross, but they were foreknown. God knew that we would fail before He chose us. So even if we have failed after salvation, that was also part of the deal.

      As far as what I learned, that is the subject of my next post. Thanks for asking!

  2. Kay

    Thank you again, Dave. For years I’ve been able to ‘see’ how very failure-ridden I’ve been. These past couple of years with folks like you has reminded me ‘God is not man that He would lie.’ The weight on my heart and shoulders has taken its toll. I just want to now not EVER do to another person what I experienced. My Lord’s path cost Him everything; so now I can say, but not unto death, His choice for me will make me more tender and more fully aware of how harmful words can be, how precious we are to Him and what comes Eternally.

    • As I wrote the next post about this event, I realized how much my response and his attack were like physical abuse. I’m with you – I never want to do that to someone.

      Keep learning His love. His/your burden is light because He is carrying it for you. We are forgiven and free.

  3. When our works are tested, all the wood, hay, and stubble will be incinerated. All that will be left to take into heaven with us is our successes! What a gracious, loving Father!! I love this picture. It gives me a goal of piling up the good stuff, rather than focusing on the trash I’m accumulating. And, as long as I am focused on pleasing God, enjoying my relationship with Him and doing things His way, then that trash pile will be a lot smaller.

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