When we think of failing, many times we want to know what we need to do in order to avoid failure. The reality is, failure is unavoidable. We will always have failure in our life and it is hard to accept. Once we face that reality, it is essential we know how NOT to handle our failure. This means, if you listen to this list, you will know how TO handle the unavoidable fact we will fall short.
Here we go…DO NOT:
1) Pass the Buck: In the beginning Adam tried to pass the buck to Eve (Gen. 3) when he failed to stand his ground and speak truth when the serpent was telling lies. He and eve both failed to hold on to the words of God and opened the door for sin to come in to the world. It was not healthy for their relationship and it was not fair for him to pass it on. If we own up to our failure, it allows us to move past it. Our failure can cause guilt, but when we allow ourselves to accept it, we can step out of hiding and allow God to do His work through us.
2) Let it Ruin Your Focus: In Acts 14 we read the account of Paul sharing the gospel in Lystra. Some people did not agree with his actions, stoned Paul, and took him out of the city hoping he was dead. He was not. Then, he got up and went back into the city! He did not give up. That stoning could be considered failure, but he recognized his role as a servant of God. Until we are actually dead, our failure (or what seems to be failure) should divert us from the purpose we are called to achieve.
3) Let it Define YOU: In Galatians 1, Paul gives the account of his past as a persecutor of Christians. He shares the churches that heard of him were saying “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” The Church recognized who Paul WAS, but he kept moving forward to share who he had BECOME. We may have made mistakes, we may continue to mess up, but if we own up, if we stay focused, and continue to move forward recognizing our renewal in Christ, then others will see who we have become through our Savior. It was never about Paul’s ministry, but the ministry Christ gave him to do. His past did not define his work, but enhanced it.
Our past does not define us nor does it hinder us to move the gospel forward. The fact our failure can be used by Christ to reveal His strength is why we call His message good news. We are weak without Him and redeemed through His love. Let’s move His message forward, using our failure to show His success in and through us!