Search This Blog

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Failing ≠ Failure

My personality strongly borders perfectionism.  I am my own biggest critic and my own worst enemy.  I try my best to stay on the right path and when I skew, it is usually I that is the most unforgiving of myself.  Not only do I run high on perfectionism but I also run high on self-destructive reactions to my short comings.  When I fall, I fall hard and it can sometimes take a long time for me to shake off the depression that my failure brings.  I often fear in my failure, that I’ve completely ruined my testimony and that my whole life has been a sham.  Extreme-much, eh?  If you aren’t super close to me, perhaps you don’t know that side and that may be for your best interest but today I stumbled upon a story that really spoke to my self-defeating nature.

The story is part of the life of King Jehoshaphat, who was the king of Judah.  The Bible speaks highly of King Jehoshaphat for his commitment to the Lord and not letting other kinds of worship enter into his kingdom.  2 Chronicles 17:3-4 says that “..the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the former ways of his father David: he did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in His commandments…”  King Jehoshaphat was not only trying to honor God but he also was honored by surrounding peoples and nations because he was a well respected leader.

But even the most respectable of people make mistakes.  King Jehoshaphat ended up making an alliance with the King of Israel, the evil King Ahab (1 Kings 16:30 & 21:25).  King Ahab wanted King Jehoshaphat to join him in a conquest of Ramoth Gilead against the Arameans.  Ahab’s prophets, seeking the kings favor only, said go to war because God is with you.  Jehoshaphat wasn’t buying it, so Micaiah, a follower of God was called to inquire of God’s will.  Micaiah warned Jehoshaphat that Ahab’s goons were lying and that Jehoshaphat should return to Judah in peace and not fight.

Long story short, Micaiah was thrown into prison by Ahab (2 Chron. 18:26) and Jehoshaphat went to war anyway.    Ahab even tried throwing Jehoshaphat under the bus in a set up to escape with his life (18:29-30), but as it would happen, Ahab was killed in battle (18: 33-34) and Jehoshaphat was delivered by God even though he was surrounded by the enemy (18:31-32). 

Jehoshaphat made it back home safely only to be confronted by Jehu who said “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you.  Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God.”  (2 Chronicles 19: 2-3).

This is the part of the story that blew me away.  Talk about Truth spoken in love.  Essentially, Jehu said really blew it on that one. Epic fail. You went against God even though He warned you, and you will indeed face consequences…no getting around that.  But failed this time, but that doesn't make you or your life a failure. You've done good in the past and you'll do good in the future if you seek to be obedient to Him. He's been faithful to you, so be faithful to Him.

Imagine if I took hold of that truth and the grace encapsulated in that statement and showed a bit of that to myself and to those around me.  To say, yeah, we mess up and just because we say sorry doesn’t mean the consequences will vanish but just because we fail does not make us void of use either.  My life story is more than one chapter and my failings can be used for both great growth as well as a continual reminder that I need His guidance and strength to get me through and not rely on my own.

So maybe you are like me and fail often enough to want to hide under a rock.  Take heart, God’s not done.  You are not a mistake.  Don’t let the lies win.  Good is found in you when you are found in Him.  Keep seeking, running, praying and getting back up with each fall along the way.  He’s faithful to forgive, to grow you, and to use each and every part of the fabric that makes you, you. 

Remember, you may fail but you are not a failure.
But more importantly, remember that He will never fail you.

Until next time,
In Christ,
Joy Lynn 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments and feedback so feel free to leave your thoughts! You can select "Name/URL" if you just want to leave a comment with your name. Thanks for stopping in!