Saturday, November 7, 2015

Combating that Feeling of Failure

Ever feel like a failure? This is something many people struggle with from time to time.  We fear that we are not doing enough or we are not doing it correctly or we are just plain out living life wrong.  It is a tough thing - feeling like a failure - and there have been some major pity parties thrown as we worry over the real and imagined failures of our lives.

This sense of failure can come when we measure ourselves by an impossible standard.  Perhaps we set up unattainable goals for ourselves - trying to be the perfect spouse, parent, volunteer.  We see people on social media who seem to have the perfect life and wonder why our lives can't be like that.

How can we combat that feeling of failure?

Turn your thoughts from yourself and fix your eyes on Jesus.  This is a habit worth cultivating.  Paul writes in 2 Corinthians that we are to take every thought captive.  We do not have to dwell on thoughts of failure when they come to mind.  There are much better things to think on as Philipians 4:38 says, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

Realize that God can use even the most imperfect life.  No life is beyond repair.  No one is un-fixable.  God is able to work in ways that will turn our biggest failures or messs-ups into something wonderful.  This, I think, is one of the true lessons of Romans 8:28.  "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

Stop striving for perfection and simply trust God.  We may not always be able to see it but God does have a plan.  I often remind myself that my view of life is so very tiny and limited by space and time.  God has a much bigger view that is unlimited.  His plans are really big and how awesome it is that He uses us to accomplish those plans.  Our parts may be tiny and we may not understand how we fit into the plan, but He uses us anyway.  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."(Proverbs 3:5-6)

 Ed Welch has a few words on the subject of failure in this post at CCEF.


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