Quit Thinking You Are the Only Failure: Because You Are Not

I walked confidently and relaxed into the hairdresser. It was time for a little relaxation.

Being about ten minutes early, I was told by the other hairdresser that Jason would return in a few minutes. Enough time for a cup of tea, I thought. And proceeded to get one.

Within minutes I was sipping my tea, beginning to relax from the hurry and stress of the day.

Then I got a text message. Reminding me that my hair appointment was on Thursday. As it was currently Tuesday, realization dawned on me that I was exactly 48 hours early.

My feelings of relaxation oozed away. Like water from a colander.

I explained the situation to the other hairdresser, who joked it’s better to be early than late, and took my leave.

I was feeling a bit discouraged and idiotic. Like a fish who finds they’ve jumped out of the water and smack into the middle of the dock. Because you see, it wasn’t the first time I had showed up at the right time on the wrong day. Or the right day and wrong time. Once I was two weeks early to an eye appointment.

Ugg. So, there I was kicking myself and thinking about the wasted time, wishing I didn’t have this past history of doing this before, and wondering what my husband would say when I showed up an hour early for our after-haircut-walk that we had planned.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.Do you ever feel this way? Surprised, and then embarrassed and disappointed that you have managed to do the same thing again.

Only sometimes it is a lot more serious than being two days early for an appointment.

Maybe you yelled at your kids again and you feel you are making no headway in patience. Maybe you just got done scrolling through Instagram and you find yourself judgmental and critical. Maybe you catch yourself playing favorites with your children. Telling your sibling an untruth. Trying to control the situation to get your desired outcome. Or maybe your past is haunting you and causing your shame.

Whether you are feeling like a failure. An imposter. A bad mother. Mired yet again in sin. Or just like you are not making any headway with your problems that haunt you.

You are not alone.

This is a universal and human problem.

And that is a comforting thought.

Because our enemy wants us to think that everyone else (or at least most everyone else) is not as flawed as us. Not as prone to make the bad choices we do. Not so mired in bad habits as we are. Or that they are all leading lives free from mistakes and surprises.

When the truth is, they are not.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

How do I know you are not the only failure?

 

Because when I read the bible, I see a host of humans just like me who struggled and messed up and sinned and made the wrong choices. And while I am not cheering for them to do the wrong thing, it brings me comfort and encourages me that they are also human.

Abraham lies to the king about Sarah being his wife. And not just once, but twice.

Even after God corrects him, he does the same thing again.

I can relate with that.

And yet God doesn’t withdraw his favor from Abraham. He doesn’t strike him dead. No, he lovingly protects Sarah from the King’s advances and returns Abraham’s beautiful wife to him, yet again.

We may expect a little revenge or withdrawal from God about now in the story. But no. He still keeps his promise to give Abraham a son from which will spring a whole tribe to numerous to count. And what does he call Abraham? His friend.

I read this and know that God doesn’t retract his promises to us based upon our performance. He doesn’t ever abandon us based upon our choices. He doesn’t just leave us to muddle through and get ourselves out of our own messes. He is not vindictive, but instead forgiving. Gracious.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. That for our life to count our day must be going well and nearly perfect. That our mistakes unqualify us. Our sins keep us from being used in powerful ways by God. And yet none of this is true. God knows we are human. He knows our frailties, is not surprised by our sins, our day we think is unfolding in the wrong direction.

So, if you are wondering if God loves you. If his promises apply to you. If he is going to finish his work that he began in you, just start reading about the characters in the bible. And take comfort because they are flawed humans just like you and me.

They try and control their future. Like Tamar sleeping with Judah, and Sarah trying to get a child by giving Abraham her slave.

They lose their temper, like Peter cutting off the ear of the High Priest’s slave, or Moses yelling at the Israelites.

They forget to keep their commitments and fail to do what they are told to do, like Peter, James, and John falling asleep while Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gathsemone.

Some have a sordid past, like Rahab, who will marry an Israelite and be mentioned in the line of Jesus.

They fight and cheat their siblings, like Lea and Rachel and Jacob and Esau.

They are critical and judgement of their leader, like Miriam of her brother Moses.

They play favorites with their children, like Rebecca favoring Jacob over Esau, and then Jacob favoring Benjamin and Joseph over his other sons.

They persecute the saints, like Paul before his conversion.

They overlook their children’s indiscretions and fighting with one another, like David.

They run from their mission, like Jonah.

They are tormented and teased about being different, like Hannah who strikes a bargain with God to get a son.

If you think the bible is full of unflawed characters who do what they are supposed to do and don’t question God’s timing or make wrong choices, think again.

Biblical characters are unperfect. But God still uses them in his story of love and ministry.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

 

You are in good company. And God can use you too?

 

Don’t get discouraged by life and your flaws.

God is using you too. And he promises he will complete the good work of salvation he started in you. He’s going to make sure you make it into his family and obtain salvation.

Now there is a comforting thought.

Take heart. Know you serve a loving God. A forgiving God. A God that is helping us all along the way. A God who uses highly flawed people.

Your mistakes and sins and life choices don’t disqualify you. They don’t keep you from being used in powerful ways. No, they are all part of his glorious plan. And they point others to God’s goodness.

Quit doubting that you will somehow blow your salvation, turn others from God, or miss your chance to leave a mark on others. Focus instead on doing the next right thing in obedience. Because he is cheering you on, using you, and extending his grace all over your life.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


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We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

May link up at Kelly Balarie (#purposeful faitht), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth), and Kristin Hill Taylor (#porchstories).

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

 

20 Replies to “Quit Thinking You Are the Only Failure: Because You Are Not”

  1. What a great reminder that we all are human!

    I read somewhere that when things don’t ‘go our way’, that I am to say “That is Fabulous!” And then watch and see how God uses the situation for my good, a blessing. (showing up early for haircut = needed some alone time & tea. OR can’t go out to dinner = spend quality time with kids, etc.) We find the blessing we look for if we don’t let Satan or our inner voice take it away from us.

    I have been working on this for a couple years now and am getting much better at laughing at myself and then finding the blessing in the situation. Life is much easier this way. I grew up in a “Be Perfect” home and was married to one too, so this has been an awesome change and challenge for me. I am much happier now 🙂

    Don’t let that inner voice steal your joy! Laugh at it and tell it you are not listening to it until it can say something positive! (Ever notice it never says anything positive to you?)

    • So true Bliss! And good advice. Look for the positive, because it is there. Just not in the way we expected.

      One positive was I did have a cup of tea. A cup of Polish raspberry teas that was so delicious and something so different than anything I had ever tasted. I was also able to joke with my hairdresser two days later that I am probably his earliest customer. 🙂

      Yup, laughing about life and not listening to that negative voice, is a healthier way to live. Keep finding the fabulous in life!

  2. Praise God that even in our weaknesses, God’s power is made perfect! Love this truth and these beautiful photos, Theresa!

  3. Great reminders. I needed this so much. Last year I had a bout of depression, linked to feeling like a failure as a wife, mother, and Christian. It was something the enemy really took ahold of. This is a topic alot of people do not want to talk about, but most of us suffer from. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Glad this encouraged you, Angela. I think we all suffer at times from thinking we are a failure. And the more years pass, the more we expect from ourself. And as the years pass the enemy has so many examples to throw in our face. We need to remember with God on our side we are redeemers, overcomes. And that he is using us even in our weakness, because he is our power.

  4. Thanks for empathizing with the rest of us humans! In answer to your discussion question, I messed up with boys growing up and am able to teach my daughter from experience how painful it is when we go our own way instead of God’s. laurensparks.net

    • Yes, Lauren. Our mistakes can benefit us and others. Thanks for wisely redeeming your lessons by passing them onto your daughters. What wisdom you are passing on. And not only can you pass it on to your daughters, but others.

  5. This is good encouragement! It is always helpful to remember the kind of people God used in the Bible and to see that he used them despite their flaws. Also to remember that none of us are perfect (no matter how much it might seem like some people have it all together) but that God can still use us too!

  6. Oh, my. I can so relate to your appointment mishap. I haven’t done that before, but I’ve definitely done things just like it. And I’ve felt like I was the only one. Thank you for your beautifully written reminder today.

  7. I had to laugh when I read about how you showed up two days early to your hair appointment, Theresa. I’ve not done that specific thing (not yet, anyway), but I can easily imagine it happening to me. I wonder what your husband said when you told him … I’m guessing he wasn’t surprise? 🙂 I love your pictures and your examples from scripture of people God used greatly despite their failures.

    • I am so learning to laugh at myself. No, my husband wasn’t surprised. Occasionally we will be heading some where and he’ll ask, are you sure this is the correct day and time? So far I show up on the wrong day and or time only when he is not with me.

  8. Ha. We’ve all done things like this. I’m so grateful that God doesn’t require us to be perfect to be used by him! Thanks for your humility in sharing this, Theresa. We all can learn from it.

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