When It Feels Like Your Fail Dial Is Set On Repeat

Gold Brush Stroke

It’s a lie. A well-disguised one. An effective one. But a lie nevertheless.

Your mistakes don’t make you a failure. That’s a fallacy we hear from our culture and repeat to ourselves.

Your mistakes make you a person in need of a Redeemer and Savior.

The good news is you have One! 

You are free delivered from your failures- (2)

Repeated Mistakes

Sometimes it seems I make the same mistake over and over. Sometimes it seems I just can’t get it right. Paul puts it this way:

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15).

Yep, I completely understand. You too?


Here’s an example of one of my struggles. For years I’ve been praying and adopting strategies to think before I speak in an attempt to curb a sometimes critical tongue. Yet, a few nights ago I again let my mouth reign. 

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? (Romans 7:24)

Yes, that’s me (only change the man to woman please)! I slip. I fail. I speak when I shouldn’t and don’t when I should. I act when I should be still and do nothing when I should act. 

Wretched pretty much sums me up. And how miserable I feel when I realize what I’m doing wrong … again!

Maybe I’m alone in my repeated failures, but I don’t think so. In the sinfulness that has infected mankind, we all fall well short of the mark when it comes to righteousness (Romans 3:23).

Not Failures but Delivered

So then you and I are failures? No!

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25)

We are delivered! We are declared righteous. We have been justified by the atoning blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

“All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood” (Romans 3:24-25).

Will we belittle the magnitude of the Lord’s sacrifice by ignoring His gift of redemption? Does Jesus’ death and resurrection have so little meaning that it can be overridden by a person’s actions (now, I’m not talking about rejecting Jesus Christ here)? 

Those of us who accept Christ’s gift of salvation, those of us who love and believe in the Lord as our  Savior and repent of our sins, can never be failures. We are redeemed. We are beloved—no matter what we do or don’t do; have done or haven’t.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, when we accept the love of Jesus in faith, our actions will become more aligned with God’s desire for us. Thank God!

Not Guilt but Conviction

But it’s not perfect and won’t be until we reach our glory in Heaven. 

You will continue to do things you know are not right. I will too. But as we continue to surrender our flesh to the workings of the Holy Spirit, we’ll find ourselves becoming more aware and uneasy about those times. 

Not so we can feel guilty, but so we can be convicted and transformed into a clearer image of Christ.

Guilt leads to paralysis and self-loathing; holy conviction allows for growth and transformation. 

Guilt says give up trying, you’ll never do it right; holy conviction asks what you can do better next time and offers help.

Guilt says see you’ll never be good enough; holy conviction says you make mistakes, but you’ll always be worthy in Christ. 

Not Imprisoned but Free

Guilt imprisons; holy conviction brings freedom.

Guilt imprisons; holy conviction brings freedom. Share on X

Yes, we all fall short. We’re all in need of a Redeemer and Savior. But praise God, in His Son Jesus Christ we already have One! 

All fall short. All are in need of a Redeemer & Savior. Praise God, in His Son Jesus Christ we already have One! Share on X

So instead of feeling guilty when you fall short, thank God for His forgiveness and redemption and seek His wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit for a better response next time.

Thank God that in Him we can never be failures!

“But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” Romans 7:6 

Reflections: In what area(s) do you struggle with repeated missteps? What can you do next time you feel like a failure to tap into conviction not guilt?

I am thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “Guilt-free me” as well as Tracie Miles’ #stressless blog hop.  I love special linkups. They provide an abundance of great inspiration and encouragement all in one place. Click on the image below or links above to check them out.



By His Grace,



  1. Sarah Koontz on September 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    My favorite part of this article is when you say “We are delivered! We are declared righteous. We have been justified by the atoning blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. ” It is so tempting to get caught up in all of the other stuff, but this truth reigns supreme!

  2. Crystal Sunshine Hornback on September 17, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    “Guilt imprisons; holy conviction brings freedom.” YES & AMEN!!!! Thank you for this good word today! #livefreeThursday

  3. Cindy on September 17, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Oh, you are definitely not alone in the repeat offender category! I’m right there with you! I love the line ” Guilt says you’ll never be good enough; Holy Conviction says, you make mistakes but you’ll always be worthy in Christ! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. #livefreeThursdsy

    • Julie Sunne on September 17, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      That worthy thing is hard for many of us women to embrace on a regular basis, Cindy. We seem to get it one minute and lose it the next. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) on September 18, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Just this afternoon, we were at the grocery store, Hubby told me to get something there that I planned on getting at a store across town. As I finally started over to get it,I said a bad word. I was instantly sorry. I talked to God about it when I caught up with Hubby at the meat case. I know better! But, sometimes I get so upset that my plans get changed for no good reason. I am going to work on my attitude which affects the words that come out of my mouth,

    • Julie Sunne on September 18, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      Part of the battle is to recognize our poor attitude, Cecelia. Then to ask the Lord to do the work in our hearts. Without Him all our efforts come to nothing.

  5. Denise Oldham on September 19, 2015 at 1:09 am

    very inspiring, bless you.

  6. Diana Rockwell on September 20, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    This is great Julie, Guilt is a useless emotion and it does add stress to our lives. Blessings Diana Rockwell, co leader with Tracie Miles.

  7. Laura Naiser on September 20, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Really great post Julie!

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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