I love failure. Now I don’t love the feelings that come with it, the rejection, the pain, the heartache; but I love failure. It’s something that I’ve experienced a lot of throughout my life. In high school I failed Spanish class. It was a humiliating moment, I had to repeat the class and every day sat in with students who were younger than me. It was a humbling moment, I felt like a screw up, but God taught me perseverance. I applied to colleges, and every school I applied to declined or waitlisted me. I remember sitting on the floor screaming out until my voice went hoarse. Failure hurts, but failure is good. We don’t learn the oven is truly hot until we touch it by accident. Failure is the greatest tool, because failure allows us to re-think what was done. One of my favorite quotes is by writer, Grant Morrison:
“It’s good to mess up! Sometimes when you mess up, you find new things and new ways to work.”
I feel like my life has been marked with failure. Every time the enemy has tried to convince me that this mistake or failure defines me, God uses it to bring me where I was meant to go. Today I want to be open and honest. It hurts to talk about failure, to think back to our mistakes, because we often look at them as making us unworthy of God’s love. The truth is, failure is the best teacher, failure produces character and qualifies us to be used in mighty ways by God. I have recently been feeling like a failure. I thought I was moving in the right direction, yet roadblocks keep coming up on my path, seemingly preventing me from where I feel called. At first, failure makes me wonder if there is something wrong with me, that God made a mistake when he was wiring me. This is so far from the truth, God is using these moments to prepare me for something big on the horizon. People may tell me I am not good enough or that this isn’t the right seat on the bus for me, but I don’t believe them. People may say the same things about you, telling you are not worthy enough, we need to cut out the lies. Shannon Scott said, “We do not accept as truth, anything that contradicts what scripture says about you.”
You are made in the image of God.
Satan is crafty. There are moments that he’ll try to creep in, those moments where you screw up. You mess up. You say the wrong thing, look at the wrong images, make the unwise choice; and the aftermath can leave you feeling like you are and never will be worthy of God’s love. You are worthy of love, because God made you, he formed you in his image. He loves you more than anything, so much so that he sent his son to die for you. He wanted to give you a second chance! You are not a failure, you are a child of God! It’s so fitting to me that in the beginning Satan took the shape of a snake. Some types of snakes wrap themselves around their prey and slowly choke the life out. Satan wants to get in and wrap the words spoken over you, if you don’t catch it he will choke all life out of you. Don’t live like a failure, learn from it and remember you are made in the image of God.
Cut the head off of the snake.
I wish Adam and Eve had made a different choice. Instead they let the words make their way inside and the snake accomplished his mission. By the power of God, our fate is not the same, not if we make a choice. God’s word is described as a sword. Often people use this as an excuse to cut others down with scripture, but the true meaning behind this is that it is a weapon designed to kill the enemy. We need to use scripture to cut the head off of the snake. Satan is the father of lies, God’s word cuts through lies with the power of truth. You are not a failure. You have failed, you have made mistakes, you are not perfect; but that does not mean we are to live in these titles. We learn from our failure and cut the head off of the father of lies.
Failure has taught me a lot. It has shown me the power that comes from turning to my creator. It has shown me the impact that humbling yourself can do for your influence in the lives of others. It has allowed me to cultivate in my heart something that I cannot fully describe. It has shown me how to work hard and not expect to be handed things without putting energy forth. Do I wish failure wasn’t so hard? Of course, but the thing that God has shown me is that without failure, my story can’t speak to others. I feel sorry to those who have been given everything and never experienced hardship, because I don’t believe their story speaks to the heart of those around them. Each of us have a story of failure. Each of us are imperfect people who are made in the image of a perfect God that pursues us on a daily basis. Failure has shown me that I am a child of God and that I need to cut the head off of the snake who whispers lies.
I feel like a failure, but I don’t accept that label. I choose to learn that failure is the greatest teacher. I choose in the moments where I am over looked and over shadowed that God is doing something in my heart that I don’t yet see. Even when those around me don’t see my value, my worth is not defined by people, my worth is defined by the one above all. I will believe that I am made in the image of God, and I will never accept the lies of Satan as truth in my life. I want to end today with one of my favorite quotes from a very wise man from a great movie.
In a scene where old lies are being burned, Yoda speaks to us all by saying, “The greatest teacher, failure is.”
Learn from your failure and step into your calling.