In our home we really do try to teach our kids what is appropriate to say and what is not appropriate to say. In our efforts, they've taken it upon themselves to label these words. For example, the "s" word is stupid, the "b" word is bored, the "f" word is fat...you get the picture. It's a little embarassing when we are in public and they say to me...."ooohhh, you said the s word"....which of course was stupid.
Anyway this morning I've been thinking about a certain "f" word. Get your minds out of the gutter people. This word is a word we avoid like plague. We seriously do not want to use it. We don't want to get near it. We don't want to touch it with a ten foot pole. Especially if we are followers of Christ. The word is failure.
We go to great lengths to hide our failures. The annual Christmas letter never highlights our abject failures for the year. We don't hang out in the neighborhood talking about our failures. We don't write blog entries about our mess-ups. We certainly don't write in our status that we blew up at our husband or kids. We don't twitter about how we were selfish. You get the picture. Our failures are NOT high on our list of things to chat about.
I wonder though how high our failures are on our list of things to think about. How much time do we spend thinking about our failures inside our minds. How many resolutions do we make? How many "do better" cards do we have? For all the effort we make publicly to avoid talking about our failures, privately they keep coming up over and over again.
What if we changed our perspective on failure? What if we realized, truly realized that our failures are vital to our growth as believers in Christ. This morning I was reading "The Complete Greeen Letters" by Miles Stanford and this quote really struck a chord with me.
"The believer who is going through struggle and failure is the Christian who is being carefully and lovingly handled by his Lord in a very personal way. He is being taken through the experience (years in extent) or self-revelation and into death, the only basis upon which to 'know him, and the power of his resurrection, and into fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.' God works by paradox. Success comes via failure; life springs out of death, etc"
My pesky little self is always saying "pick me! pick me!". "I" am concerned about failure because it is a poor reflection on "me" God is concerned about "my" failure because when I fail it leads me to die to self. Only then can Christ live in me.
Failing leads to falling on my knees before Christ and being filled by Him which leads to FREEDOM.