I Can Fail


… without falling apart!

 Words of Grace  

Ouch!  We watched the Superbowl.  We have lived in Colorado for a long time and have been Broncos fans through thick and thin.  Whatever happened in that game was hard to take.  As the young people say, “Epic fail!”

A few years ago I learned one of the most important lessons of my life: Failure is part of the game.  We all fail.  Sometimes regularly.  Sometimes often.  Failure is just a normal part of the human experience.  Failure is proof that we need a Savior.

But… but… I still hate it.  Of course!  No one likes failure.  It hurts.  It seems to negate all the work we have done.  It sets my progress back.  It can be humiliating (like the Superbowl!)

Focusing on failure is focusing on myself and my limitations.  My fear of failure and hatred of it actually comes from my flesh.  When my weaknesses or errors are exposed, especially publicly, my flesh feels vulnerable.  I have to admit that I can’t do everything well.  In fact, the more I fail, the more I reveal my inadequacy and incompetence.  The more I reveal those things, the more I reveal my need—and I don’t like to reveal my need.

But the truth is that I am a person with needs, lots of them.  I do make inaccurate assessments and foolish decisions.  I don’t have the strength or wisdom I need to succeed in life the way I want.  And I certainly don’t have the ability to succeed spiritually without the Lord.

No matter how hard you try; no matter how good you are; no matter how dedicated you are—you still need a Savior.  That’s the truth.  You will choose poorly.  You will act foolishly.  You will never measure up on your own.  You need what Jesus came to give you.

And your failures are the proof of that.

So, the next time you fail: don’t get angry; don’t blame others; don’t beat yourself up; and don’t give up.  Instead, use the failure as an opportunity to give thanks to the Lord for His love and His kindness.  You see, once again, that you can’t do it alone.

And, praise God, you don’t have to!


I can fail.

Failure is normal.

Failure is not evil nor unusual.

Failure reminds me of the truth.

Jesus is my strength and hope.

He never fails.


Filed under Words of Grace

10 responses to “I Can Fail

  1. Onward

    I can fail without condemnation from self or others! Thanks Dave.

  2. Laura

    Thank you for this reminder, I often forget that the Lord is the only one with whom we are to seek favor. What a relief to know that I don’t even need to seek favor with myself, that my value and worth come from the Lord:)

  3. TL

    Thanks Pastor Dave! I needed to hear that. I pray that you have someone in your life who encourages you, in the same way you encourage your readers. God bless you.

  4. Recovering

    Thanks for this post today Dave. My husband and I just put my stepdaughter back in public school today after homeschooling for the last year. She became resistant to my teaching and missed her peers. I always believe homeschooling was superior, and I was told so by my IBLP friends….until I actually did it with a human being with a will. Another method that DID not result in a glorious outcome. Again, it’s all about Jesus. I am choosing to not feel like a failure…it is just more evidence that the FORMULA is just that…a formula not a guarantee of any sort….

    • Repol

      Homeschooling did not work long for me either, Recovering. And I too faced some guilt and skeptical comments from others who felt it was the only way Christian parents should educate their children.
      I came to the conclusion, from scripture, that my role as a parent really isn’t to give them directly from my hand every single thing they need in their lives. But it is to evaluate the options and resources available and discern what they need to the best of my God-given ability, and to manage as well as I can to provide for those needs. But God always put people into communities. There are gifts others have that I do not have, and I need their gifts, and my children need their gifts, and somehow, someone needs mine. And it wasn’t homeschooling!

      • Recovering

        I agree Repol…I had been indoctrinated into formula’s and methods and still find I am undoing that sort of thinking and relying on the Bible and Holy Spirit instead.

  5. Repol

    Trying to encourage my teen daughter with this truth right now. She faced a shocking disappointment caused by her own innocent (not malicious) but likely careless oversight and is heavily burdened by the personal consequence because of it. She feels shame and is definitely beating herself up. Dear girl.

    • Recovering

      I can relate to that…I too am trying to give up beating myself up. We are going to have others let us down and we let ourselves down, but we are human beings not human doings and the Lord loves us and there is grace always

  6. forgiving myself

    I constantly fail and disappoint myself. Thank you for this timely message . It has put things into spiritual perspective.

  7. Penny

    I am but dust…but He bears me up.

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