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Failing God

Growing up, when I heard the verse, “Be ye holy as I am holy,” I interpreted that as, “Be ye perfect as I am perfect.” It didn’t take long for me to realize perfection was impossible. I would fail, beat myself up for not being holy, feel shame, repent and repeat. I stayed in that cycle for a while because I didn’t understand that verse, I didn’t understand grace and I didn’t understand know how to trust what had been done for me on the cross. I’m not saying I understand them fully now, but I do have a better grasp of them. I haven’t even figured out how not fail, but I have figured out how to trust God more when I do. I’ve learned He’s not up there waiting for me to fail so He can banish me to Hell forever. Instead, like a father, He’s cheering me on, picking me up when I fall, dusting me off and encouraging me to try again.

One of the things that helped me break the cycle was having a teacher break down Romans 7 and 8 for me. He had me circle all the I’s, me’s, myself’s and my’s in Romans 7. When I did, the page was covered in circles. Then he had me read verse 24. It said, “What an agonizing situation I am in! So who has the power to rescue this miserable man from the unwelcome intruder of sin and death?” (TPT) He then had me do the same thing in chapter 8, except I circled all the spirit’s, God’s, Christ’s and Jesus’. Again, the page was covered in circles. He then had me read verse 4. It said, “So now every righteous requirement of the law can be fulfilled through the Anointed One living his life in us. And we are free to live, not according to our flesh, but by the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit!” He then said, “It’s not up to you. Quit trying to live this life on your own. Trust God’s grace and let His Spirit lead you.”

All my favorite people in the Bible failed miserably, and sometimes often. The psalmist wrote, “Lord, so many times I fail; I fall into disgrace. But when I trust in you, I have a strong and glorious presence protecting and anointing me. Forever you’re all I need! (Psalms 73:26)” Being a Christian isn’t about being perfect. It’s about learning to trust God’s grace and being Spirit led. He’s given us the tools we need to follow where He leads, we just need to use them. When we fail and fall into disgrace, know that He’s not angry with you. He’s there ready to help you up, to forgive you and to surround you with His presence. Keep trusting in Him, learn to listen to the Holy Spirit and quit listening to the voice of condemnation. Romans 8:1 reminds us that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. That’s a reminder for you as a Christian when you fail. This life isn’t about achieving perfection. It’s about learning to trust a perfect and holy God.

Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

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Drop Your Demerits


I went to a high school that gave out demerits. If you got a certain amount, you went to the office. The next level was that your parents would be brought in. Finally, if you got a certain level, you would be expelled from school. I had one teacher that loved giving out demerits. In fact, when I would walk into class, he would hand me a blank one and say, “Go ahead and fill out the top. We can keep a running total throughout class and you can write down the final number at the bell.”

It always felt like a threat, but more than that, I couldn’t concentrate on what I was supposed to be doing. In my head, I was just thinking about how not to get a demerit. I would tell myself not to talk to anyone so I wouldn’t get one. But then again, he was demerit happy. I could just have the wrong look on my face and get one. It was the same every day in his class. While I can remember the teacher and location of the room, I have no idea what class it was.

Sometimes it’s easy to think that God is like that teacher. We think He’s up there waiting for us to mess up so He can punish us. It can cause you to live in constant fear of God, and to worry that you’re going to mess up and ruin everything. It can even distract you from fulfilling your calling and cause you to be a fruitless Christian. In the words of a friend of mine, “Relax! God’s in a good mood.” He’s not angry all the time looking to smack you for doing wrong. 

Psalm 130:3-4 says, “If you, GOD, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped” (MSG). Don’t fall for the lies of the enemy that God has handed you a demerit and is waiting for you to fail. God wants nothing more for you than for you to succeed and to fulfill your purpose. Forgiveness is His habit, not punishment. Put down the demerit you’re holding on to. Walk in the forgiveness that has been bought for you by a His son. 

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God’s Kindness


A.W. Tozer wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” I can tell you that usually it is an adjective or an attribute. So many think of God as a disciplinarian in the sky waiting for us to mess up so He can send us to hell. I don’t believe that description is true. Who would spend everything they have on something, then wait around and hope it fails? God paid for our sins with the death of His Son. That description doesn’t make sense. 

One that does, and we rarely discuss, is His kindness. It’s not usually how we choose to describe God, but it’s one of the most accurate descriptions of Him. He is kind to you and me because of how much He loves us. He is constantly doing things for our good, and we hardly give Him credit for it. Today, let’s reflect on God’s kindness and look for the areas where He’s been kind to us. You’ll find that He’s shown you a lot more kindness than He has wrath. 

Here’s some Bible verses that discuss His kindness. 

1. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
Ephesians 1:6-8 NLT

2. But You, O GOD, the Lord, show kindness to me, for Your name’s sake; Because Your lovingkindness (faithfulness, compassion) is good, O rescue me;
PSALM 109:21 AMP

3. As the scripture says, “He gives generously to the needy; his kindness lasts forever.”
2 Corinthians 9:9 GNT

4. As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.
2 Corinthians 6:1 NLT

5. How happy are the people who worship you with songs, who live in the light of your kindness!
Psalm 89:15 GNT

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