Welcome to the very first post in the Things to Remember series! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m going to be doing this series this November so that I can keep growing my blog while I’m busy. 🙂
This one hits close to home for me. To be honest, this is one of my favorite posts I’ve written so far. I’m a teenager, after all. Between high school and growing up and everything else, sometimes I just feel like a failure. Or like I’m going to be a failure. Or like I’ve never been anything but a failure. Do you know the feeling? I’m sure you do.
So here is the list of what I have to remind myself whenever those feelings creep in. Because the truth is, I’m not a failure, and neither are you. And here’s why:
1. God’s love is not dependent on YOU.
God won’t love you any more or any less for a failure or success, because He already went all the way. God can’t love you any more than He already does. And consider for a minute where you were when Jesus redeemed you. Totally, utterly sinful, rebellious, lost, filthy… And He loved you. You see? It was never dependent on you in the first place.
2. The goal is progress, not perfection.
We are humans, therefore, we are nowhere near perfect. If you’re a perfectionist like me (and maybe even if you’re not), that is depressing. “What? I’m not perfect yet?” we say. “I must be totally failing in my Christian life.” But none of us is going to be perfect until heaven. What should we aim for, then? Not perfection, but progress. Just because we won’t get to perfect on this earth doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get closer to perfect.
3. God uses our weakness, struggles, and yes, our failures, for His glory.
Guess what that means? It’s okay to fail! Perfection just isn’t going to happen here on earth. We can strive for perfection, but in the end, the outcome will be exhaustion and burn-out… and we’ll still be messed up. I think a better alternative is to obey the command in Psalm 46:10— “Cease striving and know that I am God.” If God is God, then I can just be me… imperfect, messy, and overwhelmingly loved. And if I’m just me, then God can work through me to glorify Himself. God doesn’t get the glory if I’m doing just fine on my own. He gets the glory when I’m so totally messed up that only He can redeem the story.
4. You can’t do it on your own… but you don’t have to.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). “Apart from Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Consider those two verses. We try so hard to succeed on our own, and there it is, right in the Bible, that without Jesus, we can do nothing. But with Him? All things. It reminds me of something David Livingstone said: “Without Christ, not one step. With Him, anywhere!”
5. Today is a new day… and so is tomorrow.
As far as God is concerned, we always have a clean slate. God isn’t expecting us to earn the salvation He’s given us. We obey out of gratitude, because we want to please God now, but when we fail, God doesn’t go away. “For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again” (Proverbs 24:16). And guess who’s always there to pick us up?
Alright, I’m done. Those are the five things to remember when you feel like a failure. Some of this may be trite and repetitious, but it really resonates with me whenever I struggle with those feelings of failure. It is, to me at least, such a breath of fresh air to remember these truths. But if you remember nothing else, remember this: Even when you fail, God is still God. And when it comes right down to it, that’s enough.
Do you have anything to add? Do you have any thoughts or verses that you like to remind yourself of when you feel like a failure? Comment below!