Ministry Monday: How are You Overcoming Failure?
It Happens to All Church & Ministry Leaders
It Happens to All Church & Ministry Leaders
C.S. Lewis, the noted author, once said, ”Think of me as a fellow-patient in the same hospital who having been admitted a little earlier, could give some advice.” This list of ideas for handling failure comes from a place of personal experience. Facing failure can feel like being stranded in a jungle when it happens, but there are strategies to use it for good.
4 Overcoming Failure Strategies:
Face the facts of your failure –
Practice open and honest admission of your mistakes.
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy,” (Proverbs 28:13, ESV).
The value of confession is on your side. Owning up to failure and agreeing with God that you’ve done wrong frees you from having to carry it in your mind. Otherwise it sticks with you and you live in light of your failure instead of on the basis of the reality that it is forgiven and not how you are seen by God. Facing your failure honestly is the first step in removing it from the frontal lobe of your life.
Stop the acts of your failure –
If you keep repeating the failure, you can’t get beyond it. This is repentance. It is turning away from the wrong done and establishing positive, righteous behaviors. Remember, God intends “life to the full” for you. It is not His plan or His acts that keep you mired in the misery of failure. He is not the destroyer or the thief. He didn’t “make you this way” so you can’t overcome it.
A key to stopping is to take a step beyond God and confess to someone else who can help you in overcoming the habits of your failure. Stopping the acts may need to be more than you ramping up enough determination to do it. You may need help from one of God’s resources, another follower of Jesus Christ who knows you are at war.
Accept God’s grace for your failure –
Failure can make you feel like you’re not worth much. That’s not true! You don’t have to live in fear of failure because you think God is going to stop loving you. You always have value and He loves you eternally. God promises His forgiveness for your failure – even your repeated failures, even your repeated, repeated failures. God loves you not because of what you do, but because of what Christ has already done. You can’t make Him love you less. You can’t make Him love you more. He loves you just as much on your bad days as He does on your good days.
Move past your failure –
God knows the frailty of humanity. He knows the war we are in. He doesn’t put emphasis on failures in life, He looks instead at the pursuit of the heart and the overall picture of your life. Failures confessed are failures gone forever in the sight and mind of God. He doesn’t hold them against you. He doesn’t bring them up again in your life story. He doesn’t look at you, deal with you, or evaluate you on the basis of forgiven failures.
Falling down and getting up is part of life. That is the way of all Christian growth. It doesn’t happen all at once. But it does happen when you glimpse what you have not yet achieved and honestly say, “Here’s where I am. I’m not going to try to get myself together and then ask God to move me to the goal. I’m going to ask God to come into this moment. I am going to wage war against the one who wants to steal, kill, and destroy. I am going to move into the enjoyment of the life that God has for me.”
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