Failure won’t define me, ‘Cause that’s what my father does, Yeah, failure won’t define me, ‘Cause that’s what my father does.lyrics from ‘the fathers house’ by Cory Asbury
I was listening to a song on my family’s new Alexa called ‘The Father’s House’ by Cory Asbury, when the lyrics above stood out to me more than usual. Over that week I had been praying about what I should base my first blog post on… all of a sudden it was apparent to me. So today, I am going to be lightly touching upon the topic of failure and how it’s affected my life.
How do we personally deal with failure?
Some of you reading this may be a little bit like me. I am a person who likes to do things correctly straight away and when I don’t achieve this I can become frustrated with myself or the situation. I have always been this way ever since I was young. Recently, my mum showed me a video of my 5 year old self practicing a nativity song. Once I had almost finished, I got a few of the lyrics wrong and it made me want to start the whole song again. I could see the frustration in my eyes through the camera. Even to this day, whenever I fail I put more stress on myself to repeat a task and try to make it ‘perfect’.
Another way that you may deal with failure is by carrying on with life without acknowledging it. This usually includes the act of focusing on the positives, whilst you actually ignore the failure itself. It is so common and easy to find yourself doing this as sometimes we may see it as a better option rather than facing our failures head on. Ignoring failures can become risky due to how important it is to acknowledge and assess your failures, in order to reduce them happening again in the future. You can learn so much from analyzing your mistakes and coming up with a plan for the next time you are in a similar situation, that the opportunity to do so shouldn’t be missed. This in itself can then help you turn your failures into something positive that you can learn from.
There are also people who are highly resilient when they fail. These people usually acquire resilience throughout life and have the amazing ability of accepting their failure, assessing what went wrong and what they can do next time, as well as actually putting this in place and trying again.
However, no matter how you personally deal with failure, God will always lead you down the correct path to overcoming it. Nothing in this world will ever be perfect, the only living person who was sin free was Jesus, the son of God.
How can God help us overcome failure when it evolves around sin?
Psalms 73:26 [NIV]
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Throughout our lives we will come across failure in many different situations. This can be during school, college, work or even in our faith and if it isn’t dealt with in the right way, it can lead to discouragement as well as the development of guilt and shame. To help us through these rocky paths of life, we have our loving creator… our God. As it says above in Psalms 73:26, our bodies (flesh) and our hearts may cause us to fail, but the Lord will strengthen our hearts and minds forever! So even though it can be disheartening to fail, especially when it’s against God, from the beginning with Adam and Eve, He knew that we would fail, He knew that we would sin. However He is still always there waiting for you to run back to Him.
Failure can also begin a reoccurring cycle, especially when it involves sin. This is another reason why it is so important to reach for God, and allow Him to guide you during times of failure. We all fail, and no matter how many times we do, God never gives up on us; we are never too sinful to be forgiven. In the book of 1 Samuel 12:20 [NIV], it says ‘You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.’ In this verse, Samuel is stressing the importance of not turning away from God due to the evil you have done, but actually, you should praise Him and serve Him lots during those times of failure.
For a while, I did struggle with the idea of being unforgivable. I fully believed that I was too full of sin for God to even care about or love me. However, once I came across the verse above, along with 2 Corinthians 12:9 [NIV] which says ‘But he (the Lord) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’ God really spoke to me during this time in my life and expressed the full importance of opening up about your struggles & failures to a trusted friend, preferably Christian, so they can pray through it with you. I ended up messaging my best friend and told her everything I had been battling with. I’ll tell you now, even though it took me so much effort to open up… afterwards it made me feel amazingly free. Since then, my battle has lessened and God is still teaching me new ways of living around what I was dealing with.
The Lord may not make that failure that you are battling with disappear, but He will push you through it and you will end up stronger.
With my situation, it’s now been a year since opening up and I’m still dealing with it, however it is so much easier because I have my God and my best friend by my side through it all. So if you are struggling with failure or sin in your life, I encourage you to speak out. It may take time, effort and a lot of emotions; in the long run it will set you free through the grace of God.