Occasionally, I do stupid things. (I heard that.)
Of course, so do you, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about my personal failure.
At the risk of sounding negative and fatalistic, let’s just own it: We all fail. Sin is in our DNA. We are fallen human beings who have a bent toward the dark side of our nature. And, sadly, our sin affects our relationship with God and others.
The Apostle Paul describes this human condition in Romans:
15 Listen, I can’t explain my actions. Here’s why: I am not able to do the things I want; and at the same time, I do the things I despise.
19 I can determine that I am going to do good, but I don’t do it; instead, I end up living out the evil that I decided not to do.
Romans 7:15, 19 (VOICE)
Yes, I know. We are new creatures in Christ.
Of course, we are redeemed and have a new identity in Jesus.
And Paul also makes it clear in Romans 7 that we are delivered from our wretchedness, and we are no longer slaves to sin.
Though you and I are new, redeemed and perfect in our position in Christ, it’s our practice of godliness that is still a work in progress.
That being said, perhaps it might be helpful to consider why we fail.
Here are 10 reasons:
1. We want to. The pleasure of sin is hard to resist.
2. We’ve developed bad habits that need to be unlearned.
3. We fail to have accountability partners who will ask us the hard questions.
4. Even though the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.
5. We fail to recognize that we are in the middle of spiritual warfare.
6. We have not learned to recognize the triggers that trip us.
7. We do not practice daily walking in the fullness and power of the Spirit.
8. We are not practicing spiritual disciplines that help us to put off the old person and put on the new.
9. We typically react out of our pain from past or present experiences rather than respond to God.
10. We are still imperfect and in the process of being made whole and sanctified by God.
Knowing why we fail and being honest about the reasons is the only way I know to grow and to keep moving forward when we do fall. Failure does not need to be fatal. And understanding why you do what you do is the first step to a godlier you and healthier relationships.
So drop the arrogance and pride. Own your humanness. Embrace grace, and just keep going and growing.
You are a work in progress, and progress is what matters.
“I am confident that the Creator, who has begun
such a great work among you,
will not stop in mid-design but will keep perfecting
you until the day Jesus the Anointed,
our Liberating King, returns to redeem the world.”
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