Dealing with Failure
by: Ellene Meece
Dealing with failures from the past is simply a part of life. It cannot be avoided and it cannot be glossed over. However, through Jesus Christ's perspective, it can become the 'art' of life that makes the difference. Gaining His perspective can make our weakness a strength, bring confidence instead of cowering behind our most embarrassing memories, and bring blessed relief from the mental re-runs of our human disasters brought to us by the enemy of our souls.
Hauling our failures to the foot of the cross alleviates the pain of fixing them and allows us to move forward in Christ's solutions for mankind: Laying down our burdens of sin and missing the mark and receiving full pardon and resolution.
Have you ever thought about how Paul, the apostle, surely had to battle the memories of shamefully treating Christians with cruelty and violence while cursing and hating the One who eventually rescued him -- from himself? Satan must have turned on the projector a few times replaying the vivid scenes of families who were followers of the Way, crying and begging for their lives as he arrested them; the graphic image of terror on a child's face resurfacing time after time from his rampage to free the land from those who chose Jesus as the Messiah.
Glimpses of his own human depravity from the past could have crushed his new decision to follow Jesus himself and could have sent him spiraling into defeat and depression unable to rid himself of the pain of what he had done.
However, Paul laid that burden of sin down, accepted the verdict of full pardon and walked in the resolution God had prepared for him -- His Love that overcomes all shame and guilt.
We all deal with failures, whether they are on the scale of massive destruction or hurting our children with a careless act of criticism, devastating our co-workers with gossip, or creating havoc in our marriage through selfishness. We, too, have a screenplay named after us with visuals of our actions haunting us at the most inopportune moments.
There is hope. Cease from trying to fix it or excuse or justify it. Simply repent of the evil actions of the past that torment you. Know that you have already received forgiveness from God, the One who has loved you at your worst and loves you now. Ask forgiveness from those you have hurt and allow healing to begin. Keep Christ's perspective at the forefront of your thoughts -- choose to watch His movie of Grace rather than re-runs of your failures. And walk in humility and love toward others.
If ever a weakness can be turned into a strength, it's remembering from whence we came and knowing with everything that is within us God's ocean of love far surpasses any failure or sin in our past. His perspective then becomes the 'art' of dealing with the past. His grace becomes our passport to full living. His dealing with failure is now ours. It is done. We are free.
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