I work at a school that implements a specialized program for teenagers who have experienced abuse at home and need different supports at school to help them learn life skills and make sense of their experiences. One of these teenagers, a bright young man, wrote a catchy song for the support staff and one of the lines talks about failure not being real.
Everyone, and no one, is a failure at the same time. The Bible says that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). In this respect, we all fail to measure up to the perfect love described in the Ten Commandments, and later, that was embodied in Jesus Christ. Even though we fail to meet God’s standard of perfection, I don’t believe that God sees us, his human creation, as failures.
Through Scripture, God tells us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). God would not send His only begotten Son, in whom He is well pleased (Matthew 3:17), to take our punishment for sin, if He saw us as worthless failures. God sees us as incredibly valuable; He went to the extreme measure of having his princely Son birthed into our world as a baby to bring us back to Himself.
We are extremely valuable to God, yet we can easily feel like failures. Satan loves to pound into our minds how much we fail: You will never do things right. No one will ever love you. You aren’t worth anyone’s time. See, look at what you did. You’ll never live it down. You’ll never change. Nothing good will ever happen to you. You’re a worthless piece of crap. Haha, you’ve failed again! You might as well give up and give in to drugs, sex and alcohol.
Because of Jesus, these are all lies. The Bible teaches that Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). They are meant to keep us from realizing and living out the truth that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). We are dearly loved by the Father and we are His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). The Bible says when we believe in Christ, our bodies become temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). When we live according to these truths, the outcome tends to be good grades, good relationships and other good things in our lives.
Failure, as we see it, is material for God to bring good to us and in us and to advance His kingdom. He promises that all things work for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Failure is an opportunity for God to reveal His nature of love, mercy, creativity and goodness.
God is all about redeeming, healing and making all things new. The only meaningful failure is not believing in Jesus when He offers everything we need in this world and more than we could ever imagine in our eternal existence.
When have you struggled to overcome feeling like a failure?