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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Failure is Not Fatal

I was tempted and I failed. 

At my daughter’s diving meet I saved “bleacher seats” before leaving the pool. After the long intermission, my husband and I returned, and our sweaters, occupying our saved space, lay squished between two spectators.
I entertained two thoughts. 1. Those seats were saved!  2. That’s ok, we’ll find other seats. Unfortunately, I dwelled on number one.  Irritation boiled and provoked my pride. Pride magnified this slight injustice into a colossal violation.

I’ll just squeeeeze in there. Afterall, we were here first. Without excusing myself, I forced a place between two large women.

The lady on my left frowned. “If you want to sit here, why don’t you just ask?”
Half-smiling, I motioned, “I had these seats saved, you know.”
She threw me a dirty look and a built an invisible wedge between us.  
“I’m sorry for cramping you,” I mumbled and scurried to a nearby wall to stand with other parents.
 I didn’t really feel sorry at that moment; it just seemed like the appropriate thing to say. But shortly after, I began to feel lousy. I had failed. I knew my thoughts, words and deed missed the mark of Christ-likeness. I had disobeyed the Holy Spirit’s gentle nudge to overlook the situation and move on.

When we returned home, I quickly shut myself in my bedroom. I asked Jesus to forgive me. And once again, He met me with sweet mercy instead of a scolding. (Psalm 147:11) God never condemns; He receives joy in convicting our hearts concerning sin so He can deliver us from sin’s power. The Lord works to establish healing, forgiveness and peace.

 Embracing God’s gift of conviction led me to the throne of grace where Jesus, our high Priest, sympathizes with our weaknesses. He waits at the mercy seat to grant forgiveness. (Hebrews 4:14-16) I like how one theologian puts it, “The heart-conviction of sin is the way grace prepares the heart for more grace.

When we turn to Jesus in faith, His blood washes away all sin. He makes us spiritually whole and healed.  Without our confession, sin becomes a burden. “He who conceals his sins does not prosper…” (Proverbs 28:33).

Let me encourage you. When you admit the ugly things about yourself, God is rich in mercy and will never forsake your cry of repentance. It’s the key to spiritual survival and revival!

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