Monday, February 19, 2018

There's A Future After FAILURE!

"And he went out and wept
bitterly" (Luke 22:62)
In my last post, I shared with you my desire to become all that God wants me to be!  My pastor's current sermon series:  Being Brutally Honest, has given me much to pray about while on this path.  One in particular,  maintaining a pure heart was eye-opening (Matthew 5:8).  As I examined my own heart, I wasn't totally surprised with what I discovered... but it was quite sobering.

You see, like some of you, I suffer from atychiphobia (fear of failure).  Yep! I finally found a name for my obsession with details, over preparation, and the level of frustration I experience when things don't quite turn out the way I want.  Especially, when in most cases, care was taken to cover all the bases and I thought I had anticipated every need! 

My ministry philosophy for more than three decades has been, My excellency for Christ Who does all things well (Mark 7:37). That coupled with this warning: Not many of you should become teachers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness (James 3:1-2) has set me on over drive.  So much so that I put too much emphasis on verse 1 and not enough on verse 2.  For we all stumble in many ways.  And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

The stumbling part, a confession of error, as one bible commentator put it, was what I was trying to avoid. But today, I thank God for revelation! God CAN use imperfect people and imperfect situations to accomplish His will!  Sisters, I've decided to cut myself some slack the next time I perceive that something is a failure!

Perhaps you should do the same. I'm learning that: (a) Perfection does not equal good character! If my motives are not right, and to get things just so, I must offend or alienate someone; I should fear my own character flaws rather than any flaws in the task!

(b) My personal worth is not measured by how many times I fail!  Nathan Chen, USA figure skater in this year's Olympic, had a terrible showing, his first two rounds of free-styling. Yet he came back the third time with more determination and performed with such finesse and skill that his two other failures became nothing more than sports anecdotes.  God doesn't expect perfection, only progress toward the end goal of spirituality!

(c) The bible is filled with people who failed and failed miserably only to be heralded as men and women of great faith!  The Apostle Peter readily comes to mind. How many times did he have to swallow his prideful words when tested only to find himself inadequate! Denying our Lord, not once but three times in the high priest's courtyard (Luke 22:54-62).  Yet, before Christ's ascension He restored him to full apostleship in good standing (John 21:15-25).

So dear ones, I'm telling myself Get Over Yourself and put that atychiphobia in check! Failure is not the end!  In many cases it is the necessary means to assure that God gets all the glory and I stay dependent on Him.  Learning how to fail is the key to being joyful in success!


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