If you were to ask a small child what they wanted to be when they grew up, they would answer something like, a doctor, a pop star, a dentist, a millionaire, it’s wired deep in us from an early age we want to be something great. We want success and fame. As we get older we still want to be great but we also want to do it right while being great. We can all handle being great so we think, but nothing trips us up in life more than when we fail. We don’t have a clue on how to give ourselves the grace to fail.

Everyone fails at some point. We fail at relationships, parenting, work, we even fail at failing in the midst of failure.  It’s easy for us to often look back on past failures and see how the Lord was at work. But when we are in the freshness of the frustration, hurt, and disappointment of failure we aren’t able to see the hope. We will never grow past our failures until we are able to get past ourselves. The way we get past ourselves is a shift in how we view ourselves. Instead of seeing yourself in the role you are in life, fix your eyes on Jesus.   

You are not defined by your failures. Your failures may impact your life but they don’t define who you are at the core of your being. Who you are when you are succeeding and when you are failing is the same even though you may not feel it. A person who is fixating on their circumstances will not be able to see this, but a person who knows God will be able to recognize that on the days of parenting wins and the day your child melts down in the middle of target knows that their child’s behavior doesn’t reflect who they are as a parent even though you may want to hide under a rock from shame.

Hope For Our Failures

When we fail it’s an opportunity to experience and be reminded of the Lord’s grace. We hate failing because it reminds us that we are weak and that we aren’t perfect. In 2nd Corinthians 12, Paul gives us a great example of how to embrace our weakness and how he in the midst of weakness was able to fix his eyes on Jesus. In verses 9 and 10, ". . . My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” He got what we too quickly forget.

We often tell ourselves that “I got this”, when we don’t because we are putting ourselves on the throne instead of the Lord. No wonder we can’t fail forward we see no hope in our failures because we are depending on ourselves and not the Lord. As you face failure be reminded of this hope. . . 

  • His grace is sufficient for you. . .no matter the consequences of your failure.
  • His grace is sufficient for you. . .when you feel like you are the worst parent ever.
  • His grace is sufficient for you. . .when you fail to love your spouse.
  • His grace is sufficient for you. . .when you mess up at work.
  • His grace is sufficient for you. . .when you say more than you should.

His grace is sufficient for you. . . in ALL things. 

Amanda Edmondson is on staff at Sojourn Community Church is Louisville, Kentucky. You can follow her @amandaedmondson.

*This post was previously shared on Sojourn Community Church's Blog