Epic Fail

6 01 2012

Have you ever had the feeling that you are a failure?  Or that you failed a test from which you would never recover? I had that feeling last night. Normally, I write a Word-of-the-Day blog, but this week I missed Wednesday, but now I know why.

Today’s word is failure.  Three definitions of the word are an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose, a lack of success, or a person with a failing; someone who loses consistently.  The word comes from the Old French falir which means “to be lacking, miss, not succeed” which comes from the Latin fallere which literally means “to trip, cause to fall.”

Thinking of my failure and the definitions, I see a stark difference between the first defintion and the rest.  The first indicates a discrete, one time event.  The other two are indicative of a continuous pattern.   According to the bible, we will have struggles, and we will miss the mark, i.e. sin (See 1 John 1:9).  Jesus ministered to the broken, who missed the mark.  The religious considered them to be failures.

Jesus response to the religious is very interesting.  He considered them to be failures.  He looked into their hearts, and He saw their hypocrisy.  Jesus used the parable of the two sons to teach the religious the error of their thinking.  In the parable, one son told his father no when the father told him to work in the vineyard; however, after saying no, he regretted it and went to work.  The other son said yes, but did not go.  Jesus explained to the religious that the tax collectors and prostitutes would go into the kingdom of God ahead of them.  After John the Baptist warned both groups about the error of their ways, the “sinners” repented, but the religious “did not repent and believe him (John the Baptist). ”  That is failure!

We have failed to keep God’s law, but He has provided a way to freedom.  This leads me back to my failure last night.  The details are not important at this time, but my response is.  I acted out of self-righteous pride toward my wife and judged her heart.  Again.  I did not seek to understand her.  I was arrogant and prideful. I HAD SINNED.

That’s when the voice of the enemy got very loud.  “You are a failure.” “You don’t love her” “You can’t minister” “You are a fake, a phony” I was dejected.  But as I read Jesus words this morning to the religious, I realized the enemy was wrong.  If I agree with Him about my sin and repent, I am not a failure.  I am a man in need of His forgiveness. Or some might say a “sinner saved by grace.”  I experienced the first definition of failure, a discete event.

How do you respond to your failures? One way is to admit them and find freedom, and another is to deny them and continue to fail.  The latter would be true failure.




One response

7 01 2012
Cindi Wimberly

That is a wonderful post Greg…and pretty brave to put it out there. I’ve come up against the pattern of failure so often it feels like an old shoe. But I have found that what you said is true, to admit that failure. Once done it becomes the first category, and admitting it every time beats that pattern. I’ve been amazed to see the difference as I continually admit I have sinned, in fact it’s even faster to say I am a sinner. Forgive me, please; and then stand forgiven. No sackcloth and ashes , no beating myself up…that just fuels the deceiver’s fire. When I stand forgiven, He immediately protects me from the deceiver…assures me of His love – which has always been and always will be…NO MATTER WHAT. Saved by grace. My mantra is the Psalm that has the repeated chorus, His Mercy Endures Forever. What a wonderful God we have, what a loving father!!!! I won’t waste time in sackcloth anymore. God has things to do with me:-)
I love you!

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