Three Proven Steps To Follow When Failure Looms Large [Grace Overcomes]

If you’ve read much of anything I’ve written, you know I fail regularly in living a righteous life. I try to modify my behavior: be less critical, speak softer, exercise regularly, be in the Word more, and be gracious and merciful, loving and kind,

and I fall short … every single time! 

And from comments I’ve received from you, it isn’t only my problem. Failure to live a life pleasing to God is a common denominator for the entire human race. How sad.

(But read on because it doesn’t have to remain sad. There is redemption for all who desire it.) 


Two Reactions to the Fall

We shouldn’t be surprised or shocked when we repeat an unwanted behavior or thought. It is bound to happen.

Adam and Eve introduced sin and failure way back in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Since then, there has not been one human who walked this earth without failure, with the exception of Jesus of Nazareth.

Our reactions to our failures basically fall into two camps: despair and defeat over our repeated actions or a complacent, nonchalant attitude about sin. Neither proves to be healthy reactions.

We shouldn’t whitewash our sins but neither should we camp in them. 

We shouldn't whitewash our sins but neither should we camp in them. Click To Tweet

If we continue to beat ourselves up over every bad choice we make, we’ll be of no use to God. When our focus remains on our sin, we miss Jesus Christ’s defeat of it, and fail to see the magnitude of His grace.

When our focus remains on our sin, we miss Jesus Christ's defeat of it, and fail to see the magnitude of His grace. Click To Tweet

But neither should we be complacent in our acceptance of it. There is an errant line of foolishness that goes something like this: God will forgive me, and I’m going to sin anyway, so I might as well enjoy doing it. 

I have to question whether this person has truly accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. For as Paul says:What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2)

Dealing With Failure

So if we shouldn’t dwell in the muck of despair over our failures and we shouldn’t give in to sin, how are we to deal with it? 

God has provided us the plan:

  1. Acknowledge it. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).
  2. Repent of it. “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'” (Acts 2:38)
  3. Rejoice in our redemption from it.But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).

There’s a line we need to walk here. A line of grace. 

Because we will fail, should we go on trying to sin? Absolutely not! But we will. That’s a fact. Acknowledge it. Repent of it. But then rejoice in God’s answer for it.

In other words, focus more on God’s answer than your sin. As we do that, we will overcome in His power where we fail in our own. 

If we acknowledge our sin, the idea of a gracious God takes on a new richness.

Us sinners, wrapped in the “clothes” of One who is forever righteous. Us, blackened by the soot of our fallen nature, washed clean in the blood of Christ. 

The dirt this side of Heaven just keeps coming. But the magnitude of His grace, it should astound us. It’s more than sufficient to wash away any amount of filth.

The magnitude of God's grace should astound us. It's more than sufficient to wash away any amount of filth. Click To Tweet

And it’s free!

He saved us—
not by works of righteousness that we had done,
but according to His mercy,
through the washing of regeneration
and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)

Reflection: Do you have a sin that keeps rearing its ugly head? Do you find yourself focusing more on it than on Christ? 

Linking up again this year with Ann Voskamp’s 2014 Joy Dare. Find the linkup at A Holy Experience. Beginning where I left off in 2013. What a blessing! #2819–2839, read the entire list by clicking here.

  • Attending my youngest’s spring band concert; Experiencing Rachel’s joy at getting rained on; Daniel just hanging at home 
  • Zachary received a special band award voted on by his peers and a vocal award–nice honors; Sun peeking out for a bit; Boys
  • Return of Cedar Waxwings; Playing game of Montana with all 3 boys; So many words of comfort and concern sent for Rach as she battles yet another illness (or is it the same one?)
  • Daniel here to help entertain Rach–he’s so good at that!; Traveling to Zach’s soccer game with friends; Fun mugs from Day Spring 
  • Progress made on my site update–header is done; Fruit trees blossoming; No morels found, but many wildflowers were enjoyed while looking for them
  • Lovely afternoon stroll with hubby at Fish Hatchery in between graduation parties; Progress on site updates, even dabbling in the techie side; Rachel’s a bit better
  • Slideshow of memories of our church grads; Faith mentors in Zach’s life; Look on this boy’s face after caps were thrown 

I'm there!_blurred

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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