OK, let me ask you a question: Do you ever feel like you’ve failed?
I ask that question because many of us constantly feel like we come up short in the “getting-it-right” department.
We make plans to do better, help more, be kinder, live stronger, be healthier, work on our relationships, but in the end, we somehow always seem to mess things up. Do you ever feel like that?
I know that I do.
As much as I would love to eradicate failure so that I never failed at anything again, I know I can’t. Failure is something that is common. Last week or the previous weekend may hold things you wish you could change. You may sense a nagging guilt about those areas where you feel failure has occurred in your life.
Certainly, failure can be damaging to us, but I want to give you some good news: Your response to failure is your choice.
Failures will happen, but it’s how you respond on the other side of failure that makes the greatest difference in how the failure affects your life.
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You can wallow in it, feel guilty about it, or hate yourself for it, whatever your go-to response usually is, but none of those things will fix your failure.
On the other hand, you could remember this:
Lamentations 3:21–23 NLTse
21 Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
The thing I find hopeful about this short passage of scripture is that EVERY DAY is a new day as far as God is concerned.
Now, if you feel like you’ve sinned in some way, then confess it, and turn from it, because God’s mercy is new and it is there for you.
If you feel like you’ve failed in your relationships, ask God to help you change and do better.
If you’ve let yourself down in some area in which you hoped to achieve more or create greater accomplishment, just know that God is still for you and today is a new start. This week is a new start.
Here’s the deal: God WILL BE faithful to help you this week IF you let Him.
Whatever has held you back is simply a hurdle. You can climb it, jump it, walk around it, or ask God to move it. One of these options will work, I promise if you just don’t quit on yourself.
So, here’s the action plan for failure you need to take after you feel like you’ve failed:
- Ask God to forgive you. – God forgives sin. He forgives failure of ALL kinds.
- Forgive yourself. – This one is so important, because if we don’t forgive ourselves when we fail, we will continue to keep reliving our failures in our mind. These thoughts will put your life in a spiral of failure. To not forgive yourself after God has forgiven you is a trap that will ensnare your life, soul, and future.
- Forgive others. – Don’t hold grudges. Period. You have to get over the things you feel others have done to you. Holding grudges will plant bitter seeds that grow bitter roots. In the end, holding a grudge will produce a bitter heart. Since our life flows from our heart, our life will begin to become bitter as well.
- Make a change. – This advice may seem a little simplistic, but, with God’s help, you can always change. He will work something new into your life if you allow Him to. Ask God to help you change. Use the Bible as a tool to renew and change the way you think, because it will.
- Ask for God’s help daily. – Overcoming failure is a daily process, not a one-time fix. You’re going to need to continue in your new found change. You may have to forgive people more than once. You might even have to keep a list of people you need to forgive and do it daily. Whatever it takes to keep change alive, do it. Ask God for His strength. Pray that He will empower you in the process because He will.
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Let me share three verses with you that I’m very thankful for:
Ephesians 2:8–10 NLTse
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
God’s grace is present for you today. He’s already provided it to you, and if you only believe this promise, you can have complete access to grace.
No matter how much good (or bad) you’ve done, you can’t gain God’s favor. He gives it as a gift. Simple belief in this promise will create a new life for you.
It will embolden you and empower you to overcome failure, to do good, and to be the person you hope to be.
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Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!