My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)
Yesterday, we looked at how we set ourselves up for failure without realizing it. Today, we will continue our conversation on failure, and learn how we can handle failure in a positive way.
1. Own it.
When you fail, own it and embrace it. Don’t make excuses for it; just own it. Personal failure and spiritual failure are inevitable in our lives. I wish I could tell you that the moment you say “Yes” to Jesus, you will only be on a straight upward path the rest of your life. That’s not true. For most of our spiritual lives, we have a strong start and then we dip. When we dip, we need to own it.
2. Never compare your failure to someone else’s failure.
One thing I like about Simon Peter is that when he failed, sinned, and denied Christ; he didn’t point his finger at anyone else; and neither should we. Never compare your failure to someone else. You are on a journey with Christ and He is not comparing you with anyone else.
3. Feel it.
When Simon Peter failed, he was broken, yet he allowed himself to feel that brokenness and express it. When you fail, you need to feel it. With many of us, when we fail, what do we do? We ignore it and push it down. We think if we don’t feel the failure, it will go away. The only way the brokenness will disappear is for you to go through the grief and pain of your personal failure and sin.
4. Express remorse appropriately.
When you fail and mess up, you should express remorse. One tell-tale sign of the Holy Spirit living within you is when you fall under conviction and feel remorse when you sin. Whenever you mess up (even if you are never held publicly accountable for your failure), you should be remorseful for your mistakes, if you are following Jesus.
Repentance means to change your way of thinking. You must change direction in your spiritual life. If you are truly repenting of the sin that caused the failure, you must turn your back and move in a different direction, away from the previous action.
6. Seek restoration.
Scripture is very clear; after you have repented, you need to seek restoration. When Jesus arose and came alive from the grave, He appeared multiple times. However, Simon Peter was looking for a time when he could have a one-on-one moment with Jesus to make things right. We should all do the same to restore what we have messed up, as a result of our failures and shortcomings.
7. Embrace forgiveness.
When God forgives you, embrace it. Thank Him for the forgiveness first; that will lead you to a second step. If you accept that you are forgiven, it will produce humility and praise. Embrace forgiveness and realize that God wants to give you a brand-new beginning. The new beginning will not last unless you stay there with your actions. God wants you to push all the way through your failure, so embrace His forgiveness and keep moving forward.