Skip to main content

Do you wallow?

"Your attitude towards failure determines your altitude after failure." (John C. Maxwell) How many times a day do you fail at something? You meant to keep your mouth shut about something that should have never been spoken, but alas...those words escaped. You meant to take care of that piece of pending work, but it seemed the hours slipped right on by before you could turn your attention to it. You planned to spend "quality time" with the family, but you were saying your good nights long before you realized. You thought you'd start that exercise program today, but the hotter than expected weather made a good excuse to delay until tomorrow. We have innumerable opportunities to succeed, but probably many of these opportunities pass us by, getting categorized in the "failure" pile of our life's choices. What we do with the failures makes all the difference with how we will deal with the new opportunities that come our way.

The Lord is kind and merciful, patient and full of love. The Lord is good to everyone. He shows his mercy to everything he made. (Psalm 145:8-9 ERV)

Since we all fail (some in greater degree than others), it is important to know how it is we are to "handle" our failures. It is important to realize God doesn't see any failure as "permanent". Each failure becomes an opportunity for grace in our lives, when confessed and allowed to be a place for his hand to change us. If we ever get to the spot where we think our failures are "too many" or "too big" for God to actually forgive, we are looking at our failures much differently than God does. He doesn't see our failures - he sees our possibilities. This is why he made a way for each failure to be a launching pad for change through grace. 

We can wallow in our failures, much like a pig does in the mud and muck of his pen. All that does is rub in the failure! It takes what could have been a launching pad toward change and "grinds it in". The moment we wallow, the more we will see our failures as defining who we are. Pigs aren't trying to escape or be free of the mess they are wallowing in - they are content to just wallow. Pigs wallow because they don't sweat, and this helps to "cool" their bodies a little. Sometimes we wallow in our failures because it brings us some "relief" from the sting of the failure, but that relief is short-lived because it never fixes the core problem. Pigs have to wallow time and time again because they still haven't changed their ability to sweat! We have no excuse because change is possible - we just need to embrace it!

We can make excuses for the failure, but that does little more than discount the failure as "expected" or "tolerable". To make excuses is to attempt to remove "blame" from the behavior. We want it overlooked, but until we stop "tolerating" the bad behavior we are not free to embrace new behavior. Excuses don't really remove the blame - they just attempt to change the focus. Much like the pig who wallows to get some relief from the heat of the sun, the one who makes excuses is just looking for a little relief from the pressure of admitting they have failed. To admit failure is hard, but it is a necessary step toward admitting we may not know how to change our course! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Hey, friend me!

When we really determine to walk the pathway of a disciple, it will cost us. The pathway is not always traveled by as many of those we call "friends" as we'd like to think. Yet, when we find someone to travel with us in this journey of faith, what a blessing it is! We need each other to understand and fulfill God's calling on our lives. We each compliment the other, challenging and uplifting, learning together what is contained deep in the Word of God.

Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around—what splendid friends they make! (Psalm 16:1-3)

David's words ring true in the hearts of many who engage in this walk of discipleship with Christ - without you, God, absolutely nothing makes sense at all. We can attempt to make sense out of tragedy, loss, or even a success all on our own. Without God, and those he places in our lives as fellow travelers…