Coping with Failure

I am never as aware of how unprepared for failure I am until I am actually confronted with it. And no matter how much I tell myself that this time I will be strong, I always break down and cry (not just because the fact of failure hurts, but because I am aware of how incredibly helpless I am at stopping myself from failing and knowing that no matter how hurt I feel right now, I will soon forget the hurt and then fail again.) Like the Apostle Paul, I want to scream at the top of my lungs “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”Romans 7:24

I don’t think as Christians we are ever free from failure, at least not until we are “asleep in the Lord” [to use Paul’s expression], or until that great and glorious day, when Jesus shall come again; the danger is really in pretending that it is not our bane as partakers in Adam’s fallen race. The Apostle John cautions us that “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”1 John 8-10

Of course, by now I hope you will have rightly guessed that by failure I mean sin.

We must come to terms with our propensity to sin rather than pretend that such a propensity is absent from our lives. God does not teach us such; However, he assures us that if we confess our sins, He will forgive us!

I know that Failure is all the more painful, when we think that precisely because we know God’s will concerning a matter, we have no excuse whatsoever to fail but if we consider the extent of God’s righteousness and the Psalmist’s reflection on God’s mercy, we must then turn to the only one who not only “blots out our transgression” [Psalm 51:1], but is also “able to complete the work which He started in us” [Philippians 1:6].

I truly rejoice in the mercy of God which is made so glaring in the midst of my failure, right in the middle of my sins, picking me up and washing me with “the washing of water with the word” [Ephesians 5:26]

“If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” Psalm 130:3-6


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