No one wants to fail. I mean we even made up an acronym for how little we want to fail — FINAO (Failure is not an option).
But what happens when we do fail? Trust me, it will happen. No matter how hard you cling to FINAO, you will fail at something.
I’ll be the first to admit that failure scares me. I don’t want to disappoint others and I don’t want to disappoint myself.
I don’t want to fail as a Christian, as a woman, as a college graduate, as an employee, as a friend, as a volunteer at church, as a daughter, as a sister, as a granddaughter, as a niece, as a cousin. Yikes. There’s so many ways I can fail every day.
And I do fail daily. Just most of those failings are between me and God, and they don’t impact my outward life on a large scale.
But how will I handle failure when it’s obvious? How can I handle everyone knowing that I failed miserably?
What if I never get married and have kids? Will I have failed my parents by not giving them the grandchildren that they want and so deserve?
What if I get rejected by my dream job in my dream city?
What if I — and I hope I don’t jinx myself here — I screw up at work and cost my company hundreds or thousands of dollars to fix my mistake?
Would the world crumble into pieces around me? Or would everything and everyone keep moving forward?
I hate to break it to you (and myself), but even in the worst of failures, the world keeps spinning.
But the joy is, we are not defined by our failures. We are defined by something much greater and much higher. We are children of God.
- David was an adulterer and a murderer, and he found “favor in the sight of God” (Acts 7:46).
- Paul murdered Christians.
- Elijah fled.
- Peter denied Christ three times.
- Jonah fled.
- Oh, and we can’t forget Adam and Eve who failed so miserably that they doomed the entire world to a life of pain and sin.
What do all these people have in common? Yes, they failed. But you know what else? God forgave them and God used them. God knew they were going to fail before He even created them. And God knew we were all going to fail before He created us. He knew what a mess we would be and He still sent His one and only Son to die for us.
So failure doesn’t define us and it shouldn’t discourage us or slow us down. God has a plan for our lives that’s greater than anything we could dream of, and He already knows when, where and how we are going to fail next.
We shouldn’t find our pride in what we can or can’t do, but in what Jesus did for us on the cross and what God continues to do for us every day.