Failure

This morning I came home from the food store and the library to a messy house.  I don’t mean mess like a-few-toys-on-the-floor kind of mess…I mean mess like marker-on-the-couch-and-the-kitchen-smells-because-of-the-dishes-that-need-to-be-washed-from-a-week-ago kind of mess.  I had snapped at the store when my daughter kicked me in the head and I felt like I was getting mean glares at the library due to my unruly 2 and 3-year-old kids.  I felt like a failure and the tears were close to spilling over.

Both kids are sleeping now, the marker is off the couch, the dishwasher is running and I have had a few minutes to reflect on my morning.  Recently, Timothy Keller posted something on Facebook that stuck with me.  He said, “Don’t let success go to your head, nor let failure go to your heart.”  I needed to be reminded of this today when failure was starting to go to my heart.

I realized that Keller’s thoughts can be applied to the realm of healthy living.  It is easy to let the success of weight loss or marathons or all-county titles go to one’s head.  It is also easy to let the “failure” of weight gain, injuries, and missed goals go to one’s heart.  However, I am thankful that I can cling to the success of Christ conquering sin and failure so that my heart is not broken when things don’t go as I had hoped.  I am also understanding that no matter what I may accomplish on this earth and the success that I may have among my peers, it is not me who is great but the God who is in me.  There is no benefit in seeking glory for my own, but much benefit in glorifying the God of the universe.

One of many great things about believing in Jesus is that neither our successes nor our failures consume us anymore.  How can we be prideful in our successes when we were saved by sheer grace, and how can we be utterly devastated in our failures when he has given us hope and redemption?

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