01 Oct YES, YOU FAIL BUT YOU’RE NOT A FAILURE
August 12, 2018
I screwed up this week. More than once.
Some things were distracted mistakes- I forgot a needed step for my job, and misplaced several emails. But others were straight up wrong choices- I spoke when I should have been silent and allowed myself to fall into gossip.
Failure is embedded in my skin, proclaiming my shame. I want to hide under the covers and give up. God’s done so much work in me and yet I chose to do wrong. I said what I knew I shouldn’t.
I want to make excuses and point out all the other times I didn’t speak, or what so and so said that was worse. But I can’t. Deflecting’s just a poor defense mechanism and I know that.
And then the voices begin and they taunt me with everything I’ve ever done and the many times I’ve failed and even the unfounded accusations of others. See? Everything you do is wrong and you’ll never do anything right and you’re nothing but toxic waste to be disposed of.
Cognitive distortions. What was conviction over a specific transgression becomes false guilt and shame.
What is Truth? To put it in Biblical terms, I sinned.
This sin is a specific instance, that I sincerely regret. It is mine to own and make right, but does not define me. Once more I have a choice- take responsibility for my actions, apologize, and come up with a plan so it doesn’t happen again or allow it to spiral into something worse, plant bitterness, and hide from my shame or bask in it. I chose the first option.
This is the beauty of grace.
Some see it as an excuse, that you can sin all you want ‘cause all you have to do is ask forgiveness and you’re good. But that’s not how it works.
It’s when your heart is truly sorrowful over your actions, and you’re willing to take responsibility and make it right, that’s when God wraps you in His love and tells you that yes, you fail, but you’re not a failure.
And His grace is sufficient.