Failing to Fail

Ready “…Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9b

This was our time. My college basketball team had been in the middle of a rough losing streak, but now we found ourselves in a close game with a rival team on their court. This was our time.

After a series of tough foul calls, we were still within reach--down by three with one minute to go. During the timeout, all my coach asked of me was to get open on the wing and skip it to my teammate coming off of a fade screen. No way could I mess this up for my team.

The player guarding me was physical and quick, so I chose to make a sharp step into her body and get open. The problem was that the contact caused me to trip, and I fell very ungracefully on my hands and feet at the same time that my teammate had thrown the pass. The ball went out of bounds, and our dreams of ending the losing streak was shattered.

As an athlete, failing is tough. But failing doesn't just happen on the court. It happens in relationships, in school, in the workplace, and other situations, and it's always hard to handle. Failure in our lives can either leave us stuck in our regret and shame, or it can show us the truth about ourselves.

The truth is that we are weak. Without help, we are incapable of being who God has created us to be. We cannot be perfect, and we cannot please everyone. And, if we're not careful, we can get stuck in the despair of our past and not allow God to work in and through us in the midst of our weaknesses.

But, thankfully, Jesus Christ came to heal those who knew they were sick and in need of a doctor (Matthew 9:12-13). He never asked for perfect people, just those with empty hands and a willing heart. God desires for all of us to come to the point where we respond in our failures by clinging more closely to Him and realizing we are nothing without Him--that we have all that we need in Him. If we approach life as a way to let go of ourselves and cling to God instead of letting our weaknesses control us, we will experience freedom like we never imagined and make a true impact for Him in the lives of others!

  1. Are you still experiencing shame or regret regarding past failures?
  2. When you sin, do you usually experience condemnation (i.e. shame, putting yourself down) or conviction (i.e. God showing you your sin and giving you a healthy desire for repentance)?
  3. What has God shown you through your past mistakes and failures? How should you respond to your next one?

Proverbs 24:16

Matthew 9:12-13

Romans 7:15-18

Romans 8:1

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

2 Peter 1:3

Bible Reference: 
2 Peter 1