Failing is something that nobody wants to happen in their lives, ever. No one, as in NO ONE, just wakes up one day and thinks of creative ways of failing. Right? However, as much as we tried to avoid failing, everyone have experienced failure at some point. It’s pretty much inevitable.
There are two extreme type of people who battle failure from a unique vantage point. Maybe you can identify yourself with one of the two. The first set of people are the perfectionists (this is where I identify with), these are the people who are scared of failure. For them, just thinking about the possibility of failing sends chills to their bodies. In defining moments, thoughts of failure or not wanting to fail consumes them. However, since we know that no one is perfect, failure will face them in the eye at one point. The problem in being a perfectionist is when failure hits these type of people, it paralyzes them. It makes them insecure. It deals a blow to their confidence and their perfectionism actually works against them.
The second group of people are those who have who have resigned to the fact that maybe they’ll never do anything significant in their lives. Maybe when they were little their parents have told them that they are a nobody, leading them to have that mindset. Maybe there was an event in their lives where they failed massively and because of which weren’t able to get back up. Because of that event probably it lead to a life of mediocrity. Of course, we know that even though sometimes being too much of a perfectionist is wrong, it’s also wrong to accept failure in our lives as part of the norm. We need standards in this world in order for us to live by.
So how do we deal with failure properly? It seems like both extremes aren’t desirable to be in. The problem is if you go on the extreme of being a perfectionist, it consumes your life, however, if you go the other side it leads to a life of no standards. What’s the proper balance and tension here and can this be actually resolved?
I believe that there are many ways to go about this, I don’t have all the answers, but I’d just like to share what realized from my devotion last week. While I was reading God’s word. I was reminded of a famous verse written by the Apostle Paul:
1 Timothy 1:15-16
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
If you know the Apostle Paul, many people regard him to be one of the most influential figures in Christianity, probably next to Jesus Christ. He wrote most of the books in the New Testament. His passion and zeal for advancing the gospel is second to none. God made him to be the Apostle to Gentiles, taking the gospel to places where no man has ever gone before. He was willing to die for the sake of the Gospel. When Christians would talk about the Apostle Paul, Christians would recount many of his achievements and see his life as a successful one.
However, when I read the verse above last week. I was quick to remember about the Apostle Paul’s dark past. He was a pharisee of pharisees, regarded by many as the enemies of Jesus Christ. After Jesus resurrected from the dead, the Apostle Paul went on an operation to kill as many of the earliest Christians as possible. Most notable of which was Stephen from the book of Acts. If you’re a Christian living in those early times, the Apostle Paul was the enemy. He was definitely a man who did not do the will of God. Yet, in a remarkable turn of events. God chose the Apostle Paul, not counting all his failures to ensure that the good news of God’s kingdom is advanced.
Failure is not final as they say and it definitely was not for the Apostle Paul. God used his life for his glory no matter what he’s gone through. I believe that the implications of this is huge especially for those who may have deemed their lives as failures. If you feel like that when you’re reading this, remember there’s always a SECOND CHANCE. Even if you felt like you’ve failed, or maybe will continue to fail so many times in your life, never fear. God can turn your life around and use it for his glory. Don’t lose hope, in this life you always have a shot to turn it around for God’s purposes. Just remember to always trust in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
“…But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”
Now for the perfectionists, here’s what I realized. We will always fail at some point that’s why it’s useless to put our security in our successes. When that becomes the ultimate thing for us failure will hit us hard at some point. It will shake our world and make us lose our self confidence. In my opinion, I realized that the key to dealing with failures is to accept the fact that we are all sinners and remind ourselves daily. That means that we deserved absolutely nothing. We were, at one point, failures who had no hope in this world. Left on our own our lives are pretty much useless. However, we shouldn’t end there because if that’s all, then we’d be like the other group. The next step is to put our trust and faith not on ourselves and our accomplishments but only in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The truth is only in the gospel can we find true success in life. The beauty of the gospel is that gives us the power to live a life the will honor God. Also, whenever we fail, the gospel gives us a reboot, it always gives us a second chance just like what it did with the apostle Paul. Not only does the gospel give us a second chance in life, but it always gives us the strength and fuel to move forward and face all the challenges and problems that this life can bring. Left on our own we can’t, but with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, indeed nothing will be impossible for him.
Have a great day ahead of you! 🙂