I fail every day. More to the point, I fail Jesus every day. You might think that’s a bad thing, but I don’t.
Why? Two reasons.
First, notice, I didn’t say “I fail people every day.” I do. I snap at my kids and renege on promises. I’m a person just like you’re a person, so I’m messing up all the time. The thing is, I’m not here to please people. I’m not here to hold myself against the measuring stick of some foggy or shifting system of right and wrong. Lying in bed and thinking about the ways I may have potentially mistreated someone would tie me up and weigh me down with miles of invisible steel chain links.
There is only One that I aim to please, and that is Jesus. If you go to bed at night and confess, “Jesus, I’ve failed you today. I was impatient and emotional and lots of people may have gotten caught in the crossfire, but it’s You I’ve truly failed. Please forgive me” then that’s a good thing. That we can control. We can throw ourselves on the mercy of God and be forgiven. We can allow the Holy Spirit to say to us, “Yep, you screwed up, but I still love you. Try again tomorrow.” There’s great freedom in failing Jesus, because He just keeps forgiving us! Again and again and again!
The second reason I think it’s not such a bad thing to know you’ve failed Jesus comes from a truth I heard in church yesterday. My pastor was talking about Peter. If you’re not familiar, Peter is the follower of Jesus who denied knowing Him when Jesus was about to be crucified. Jesus came back, forgave Peter and basically gave him the job of growing the church.
Peter totally failed Jesus. But God used him after that failure in a huge way.
Here’s the truth: God builds His Church by showing mercy to people who have failed Him.
Isn’t that exciting? We’ve all failed Him and we all get a second chance! Or a third chance! Or as many chances as you need! When we finally get to the point of desperation where we will stop what we’re doing and listen to Him, He will begin to use us to strengthen the people around us.
Why do you think I talk about kindness all the time? Because I was a hot mess before God came into my life. It’s the kindness of God that leads man to repentance (Romans 2:4) and it’s the kindness of God that made me want to become someone I could stand being around. I can’t help but share that with others.
Friend, if you fail Jesus, and you know it, rejoice! You’re on the right path. Then say you’re sorry and get ready for Him to use you in a mighty way. You might still mess up, I sure do, but at least we’re heading in the right direction.