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

 


Having trouble enjoying life? Reconciling your current reality with how you wish life really was? Get a free PDF with 12 tips to help you enjoy your life right now. Subscribe and join the journey. You will also receive weekly encouragement and hope tied up with some humor. Because life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: How are your failures being used as an asset?

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.

 

Finding the Wonderful When You Don’t Feel Wonderful

Do you ever find it difficult to be thankful and find the wonderful in the midst of hard?

Hard times. Hard situations. Hard attitudes.

And then along comes a day where we are supposed to be counting our blessings. Smiling and being cheerful for the here and now. And being grateful can feel so hard. Cold. Joyless. Uncertain.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.With our plates heaped with turkey, cranberries, and more, we are asked to share the thing we are most thankful for. And our mind freezes with blankness.

Because sometimes it is hard to be thankful. Hard to find something to gush over and be appreciative for. Without sarcasm and pessimism joining hands with our words.

You may have a good excuse. You are tired. Weary of doing. Stressed with work. Suffering loses. Frustrated. Or down of soul.

This happens. Life is not always a joyful ride on the hay-wagon of life.

First, I don’t want you to despair. You are not alone. You are in good company. Others in similar situations are wanting to point their life ride in a new direction. Wanting to release the weight of life they are experiencing.

So, take a deep breath. Now another.

We often feel isolated in the middle of hard, but we are not. Others can relate to what you are experiencing. Others are been walking the same lonely road. Others remember walking that same difficult road. Others are willing to help when you reach out and share with them.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.Second. I want you to know you are seen, loved, and known by your creator. He knows your thoughts, emotions, and desires, and does not condemn you, but loves you with an everlasting love.

While we beat ourselves up in our minds, he offers grace.

While we wonder and worry about the future, he offers hope.

While we believe lies about our self, past, present, and future, he offers us truth and calls us beloved.

While we fret about our actions, he offers forgiveness.

Now isn’t that something to be thankful for! And that makes life a little easier.

Sure, it doesn’t solve the present trials and tribulations you are experiencing, but it makes them easier just knowing you have an advocate, friend, and helper on your side who is with you every step of the way.

It can be hard to be thankful sometimes. Until we get our eyes off our self and our situation. Until we look around at others and up at him. This seems to be one of the keys to finding wonderful things to be thankful for in the midst of hard times.

Looking beyond our self.

So, if you are sitting with a plate full of pie and wondering what to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, just remember to look around and up. I’m sure you will find something wonderful to report to all those listening ears.

Because when you think about it, there are a lot of wonderful things that are free in this life.

To help with the Thanksgiving mood, here’s a short list of wonderful. Please add your wonderfuls to the comments. I’d love to hear them.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.

Isn’t it wonderful to sit around a table with others and talk and laugh and cry and tell stories and make memories upon memories?

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to lend a helping hand to others?

Isn’t it wonderful how forgiveness brings peace?

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to experience the world with five senses?

Isn’t it wonderful to be alive, loved by God, and able to pass His love and grace along?

Isn’t it wonderful how a camera can capture memories that can be enjoyed for years?

Isn’t it wonderful to visit the ocean: feel the sand between toes, listen to the waves, and watch the wonder of water?

Isn’t it wonderful how beautiful nature can be?

Isn’t it wonderful how God’s love of us is not dependent on our actions or attitude?

Isn’t it wonderful how good a warm shower feels?

Isn’t it wonderful how a smell can transport you back to a memory?

Isn’t it wonderful how a simple thank you can be such a gift to the receiver?

Isn’t it wonderful how just a few words can encourage someone?

Isn’t it wonderful how God loves you no matter what?

Isn’t it wonderful we look forward to another and better life in the presence of God?

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your gatherings be full of hope and excitement, may your stomachs feel content and full, and may you remember a few of the wonderful free things that bless our lives.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.

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

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What are some wonderfuls you have noticed?

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.

What do You Believe About Others?

 

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.I think it is sometimes interesting what we believe about others.

The people floating about us that we see in public spaces and private.

These beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true. Our reality.

And the funny thing is, our experiences often justify and prove our beliefs.

A friend and I were talking over a meal and I mentioned that I thought most people were basically helpful and friendly in public.

The look she gave me could have competed with a deer in headlights.

I paused. Replayed what I said through the soundtrack of my mind, and then wondered why she was looking at such me in such a startled manner.

Finally, she spoke.

I believe just the opposite, she said. Most people are out to get you, don’t care about you, and will turn on you if given the chance.

Now I looked like the deer in the headlights.

Clearly, we had differing opinions on the populace we lived among.

We were on either ends of the spectrum.

I stated my reasons for why most people could be trusted. Cited personal examples and gave antidotes and examples from my personal experience. I built up a case that was sound and overwhelming.

Then she stated her reasons why most people were not to be trusted and didn’t care a whit for you. She cited personal examples and gave antidotes and examples from her own life. Her case was also very strong.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

How our life experiences shape our beliefs about others and life.

 

Bottom line, her experiences from her childhood and into adulthood had built a solid case that supported her beliefs about the populace.

And my experiences from childhood and life had formed and supported my case.

She had been bullied, teased, and suffered verbal abuse at the hands of her peers in school.

I hadn’t.

People judged her body harshly because she didn’t fit in with the popular norm.

I hadn’t.

On she went, marching to the present day.

I soon saw that if I had experienced those same incidents and situations, I would probably be distrustful of other people too.

After I shared my side, she saw how I had formed my opinions based upon my experiences.

We each had opinions that differed, and yet life was continuing to validate our opinions of others. What we were looking for, we saw.

I talked to another friend about this and asked her how she viewed others, and she agreed with me, that she was pretty trusting of other people, but she thought men were after only one thing.

Once again, her experiences confirmed this. She had been hit upon by lots of men.

I hadn’t.

I remember being in in elementary school and a friend asking me if it was weird to have freckles and red hair.

I remember looking at her and thinking she was weird to ask. No. It wasn’t weird. My parents had red hair. 4 of my siblings had red hair. Freckles landed on all of us. Freckles and red hair were normal to me.

But not to her.

I look back now, and I am sure I was the only girl she knew with red hair and freckles. I don’t remember ever seeing another one in our town.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

We all see the world a little skewed. But those perceptions can change.

 

We get used to what we grow up around.

We believe what has happened to us in the past, will happen again in the future.  Our past, we think, indicates our future.

My friend had known unkind people from an early age. So naturally she would view the world through that lens.

My other friend had known men who wanted to flirt and make sexual advances. Naturally she viewed the world through that lens.

And I viewed the world through my lens and thought most people were nice because that was what I had experienced.

All of us were right in our own way. And yet we all saw the world a little skewed.

So how could we know the real truth?

And could our truth change over time?

I had another friend tell me she didn’t trust men because her father had left her life at a very early age. Because of this, she had a tough time trusting other men. Then she married a trustworthy guy. Slowly over time, her opinion about men changed. She saw her husband kept his word. Then noticed other men did too.

Another person changed her view slowly over time.

So why does this matter?

How do our opinion of others affect us?

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.How the things that shape your life become the opinions you have of others and affect you in some important ways:

 

1. We often find what we are looking for. When we view the world and others through our specific opinion lens, we often find and look for confirmation of our viewpoint. A person who thinks people are nice, will notice when someone opens the door for them, smiles at them, or jokes with them. A person who thinks others are not nice, will notice when someone takes their parking spot, frowns at them, and cuts them off on the road. But not only will they notice these things, but these things will be remembered longer than the opposite things done for them.

Both may in the same day have the same number of people smile at them and take their parking spot, but one will remember the smiles, and the other will remember the parking lot steal. Both have confirmed their viewpoint they have of others.

2. How we think people will treat us, may affect the way we treat them. If we think people will not like us, we will put up our defenses and not be so friendly. We don’t want to get hurt again. But if we think people will like us, we may go up and introduce our self, mingle more, and take more risks with trying to make new friends.

3. Our opinions of others affects our fear and anxiety levels. Before visiting a foreign country, I heard stories of places with high levels of pickpocketing. Fear began to grip my travel plans. How would I carry my money? Suddenly the trip seemed less fun if I had to hide my money next to my underwear. Then I read in a travel book that the country I was visiting had very little pickpocketing. When I landed, I kept my purse wrapped around me and no money inside. It became apparent, though, that the guide book was correct. As my opinion changed, I was able to relax and quit worrying about my money and purse. The trip also became more pleasurable with my fear and anxiety abated.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.4. Our opinions of others often affects our opinions of God. If we distrust others, it is often hard for us to trust God. If people have been unfair to us, we are more likely to expect God to be unfair. If people show us grace and forgiveness, we are more apt to think God extends these to us too.

My mother had very conditional love and often let us know when we displeased her. Because of this, I grew up thinking I had to be nearly perfect to please God. The idea that God was already pleased with me in my current state was foreign to me until years later.

Remember my friend who didn’t trust men because her father was never to be trusted? She overlaid her opinions about her father onto God. For years, she thought God was not to be trusted, that he would break his promises without warning. Just like her dad had.

Changing her reality was a lengthy process, but so worth it.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality.

But that doesn’t mean those self-truths are correct.

Because of this, you may want to ask yourself: What are your opinions of others? How do those opinions affect your daily life choices and thoughts? Your anxiety and fear levels? Your view of God?

Let’s quit confirming our truths, if they are wrong. Let’s quit believing our past to be indicative of our future, if it is based upon flawed thinking.

Let’s start noticing the flaws in our thinking.

Start believing the real truth. God’s truth

Over time, it will become our reality

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

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

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: How do your views of life and others affect your views of God?

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.