Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Am I a Failure?

Yes, I am a failure.  You are too.  News flash, we are all failures.  I think the sooner we admit that, the better off we will be.  Now let me explain and unpack this before you think I need to be hospitalized or accosted.  I want to take a second and be honest and real in some self examination.  I hope you will join me at some honest evaluation of your self.  God set a standard for us, to be like Him.  He made a garden, put man in it, made it easy.  He said "you will be perfect as long as you don't eat that fruit.  You have one command to keep, if you keep it you get a 100%".  Pretty simple, right, don't eat off one tree, the rest are fair game.  So. . . we ate it.  Now it gets harder, so there are some more rules.  Don't covet or steal or lie or lust or curse or sleep with someone not your spouse.  Don't worship other stuff, don't make statues of God, rest of the Sabbath.  This was the quick list, there was some more stuff, we blew all of them.  We keep making it harder on ourselves.

One rule or ten, it doesn't matter cause we fail daily.  I am rude and self seeking, I am selfish and sometimes cruel.  I don't do the things I want to do, I should do and I'm suppose to do, I do the stuff I shouldn't.  I get in trouble and I fail and I miss deadlines.  I'm a failure and you do the same stuff.  I have a news flash, it's ok.  You fail and you mess up and God knew you would so He offers you grace and love through Jesus Christ.  This doesn't mean that you should fail on purpose, we still try our best, but we can get up after we fall down because there is still hope.

Here is where we fail in our failure.  We begin to assume that living a good life is dependent upon our self effort.  Ya, it's not.  You can't just will yourself to be better.  Anyone who tells you that you can is lying to you.  They are hiding something, they are probably struggling with some ego issues and you need to ignore it.  How do I know?  Because the Bible says that when I am weak, then I am strong.  The power of Christ is made perfect in my weakness.  God uses the weak of this world to shame the strong.  I boast all the more in my weakness, the power of Christ is in my weakness.  It's all over the New Testament, that we are weak, and that weakness is where Christ is at work in my life.

This doesn't mean we don't try our best, because we do.  We give our lives to follow Christ, but we understand (or should) that it's not through self effort.  This is the hardest blessing in the Christian life to understand, when we quit trying to hard to do it on our own and ask Christ to guide us and support us, we find strength.  We fail less often, not because we are great but because He is great.  We find ourselves on the right track when we let Him navigate the way.

I'm going to tell you how to begin.  First, I want you to relax and stop worrying.  Then I want you to ask God to help you, to forgive you, to empower and fill you.  I want you to pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit until you are filled with the Holy Spirit.  Then I want you to think about what you need, then go do it.  Don't stress about it, don't wonder what everyone else thinks, just do what you need to do.  You will find freedom and grace as you live your life one moment at a time by His grace.  The narrow road is hard, don't want it on your own power.

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