In a world where success is everything, it’s hard to admit failure. I’m finding even in church cultures, where the focus is so much on going after your God-given destiny with excellence it’s hard to not to feel caught in shame where you’ve experienced defeat or made a mistake.
I have failed. Many times, at a multitude of things.
I have failed in school.
I have failed with people.
I have failed with choices.
I have failed my dreams.
I have failed myself.
So many times I’ve felt like my life is more a repercussion of my failures than it is a reflection of what I’ve succeeded at. I had no idea how deeply I believed this until I realized my dreams were becoming smaller and smaller and I was fully consumed by the piled up failures in front of me. I couldn’t see beyond them and I began to define myself by them. To be totally transparent, I still struggle to see past them sometimes.
However, I have come to realize that a life full of failures isn’t the end for me, and it’s not for you either.
So, what is failure exactly?
Failure is defined as a lack of success, or the omission of an expected or required action.
So in order to understand failure, we have to know what success is.
Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
Simply put. Failure is when we don’t accomplish something we’ve aimed to achieve.
However, our failures are always “something” we’ve failed at. It in no way speaks about who we are.
There is the one thing we can never fail at, being a dearly beloved son or daughter of God. It’s simply not up to us to decide that. The only person who can deem whether their very own creation is a failure or a success is the Creator himself. When God created humanity, he declared right from the beginning that it was good. Before Adam, Eve or any human even had a chance to succeed at anything, God loved them and He loves you. From the very first failure, when Adam and Eve chose to sin, God had a plan in mind to redeem humanity. In the same way God has a plan to redeem me, and He has a plan to redeem you. His name is Jesus.
He wants us to experience his resurrection power in the areas of our lives that feel dead. That feel empty. That feel broken. That feel sick. That feel hopeless. That’s exactly what Jesus came to do. He looks at our failures and sees a chance to redeem, a chance to heal and a chance to love us. To make something beautiful that reflects the very likeness of himself. He doesn’t identify us with our failures, he identifies us as his own beloved children who were made to do amazing things.
A wise woman, once gave me a sweet little picture of what God does with our failures. She said that when a flower dies it will fall to the ground and the several seeds inside the flower are then deposited into the soil. Far more is birthed out of the dying of that flower than could have ever been possible in the lifetime of it. But it wasn’t until the death of that flower could those seeds have a chance to flourish and grow.
I think that really is similar to what God does with us. Sometimes we need to fail, we need our dreams to die, and we need our weaknesses to be exposed. Why? Because until they do they will be only our dreams, hopes and visions. They can only grow so far with our own human limitations. But when they die, and we surrender the seeds to God. He breathes on them, and does more with them than we could have ever done on our own. When we fail, and we lay down our failures at the feet of Jesus, it is no longer ours but His and it will bear so much more fruit than it ever could have had before. Even though we can fail, He can’t. So we are in good hands.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”- John 12:24
So,what if we’ve failed?
I’s not the end for us, it’s the beginning of something far greater than we could have ever hoped or imagined. It’s here we experience resurrection power if we are willing to lay our failures at His feet. It is here we get to experience grace that is more than sufficient in our weaknesses. Our failure is another space for him to come and touch our lives in His kindness and lead us in a far more excellent way.
It’s in the recognition of who we really are, that we begin to walk in the fullness of what He has for us. We need to understand our past failures, don’t make us a failure. Our walk with God isn’t about achieving what we feel is as a successful life, but rather as we walk in close fellowship with Him we naturally begin to grow into what we were always made to be. Suddenly our biggest mistakes become the biggest testimonies of the goodness and power of God working in us. Our greatest failures become the greatest stories of victory. We are not a sum-up of our past mistakes.Your life is not built on what you’ve done, but on what God has done for you. We are a new creation. Our failures are behind us. You can move onward in perfect love and know He is working all things out for your good. What a beautiful and exciting road ahead of you!
You are not a failure. You are beloved child of the Most High King.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17