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Dealing with Failure (3 of 3)

Mike Connell

Page 4 of 9
It's all written in the Bible, all these people that made these glorious mistakes, magnificent failures. Most churches would write them off, say: well we couldn't do anything with that person. Interesting though, that the Bible lists each of those people I named as a man or woman of faith, and does not record their failure in the New Testament at all. It just says: by faith, these people did great things. Now did God overlook their failure? No, He didn't overlook their failure, but He looked above their failure, and beyond their failure, to what they were destined to be, and His focus was on their destiny, not their failures. There's no mention of Delilah in the New Testament, yet when you think Samson, you always think Delilah, but the Holy Spirit ignores here completely, doesn't even mention her in the chapter on faith. It doesn't mention any of these errors, these glaring errors. It doesn't mention them. Why? Because they're under the grace of God; each of these people have found forgiveness, each of these people have walked into the destiny, and God says: I really like these people, because in their day, yeah, they had mistakes, yeah, they made failures, and they were costly failures - but they're men and women of faith. That's a Biblical perspective you see, so failures are never fatal for us.

We've got to see that God doesn't overlook our failures. In fact actually your failures have huge consequences, for example Samson's failure, he lost his eyesight, and then he ended up in chains, lost his anointing, his eyesight and his ministry, ended up just grinding out like a donkey. But when he repented, God restored to him, not his eyesight, but restored to him his strength, and he was able to do one last great feat. So failure, if we handle it right, is never the end for us. It's just the beginning of a new season in our life, and if we don't get a grip on that, the problem is, that within a church environment, people feel they can't fail, and can't make mistakes. I hate being in an environment where I can't make mistakes, like I've got to be perfect or something. Perfectionism is an unrealistic expectation that everything will be perfect, or there'll be no mistakes, and everything will be done just right.

Perfectionism is rooted in the fear of failure, and in pride, and we don't need perfectionism. We want to do things well, but not perfectionism. Perfectionism is intolerant of people making mistakes, as though we didn't make them ourselves. That's very hurtful, because it judges, and makes it very difficult for anyone to rise up, and move on, and the church is called to be an environment where everyone is encouraged to take risks. With risks, there's going to be failures. God calls us, as a people of faith, to take some risks, and so when we take a risk, there's going to be some things go wrong, that's for sure. The best way to fall out of your destiny, is to just not take any risks at all, play it safe - and you have a boring life, a religious life, and you cannot fulfil your destiny, because your destiny requires faith. Without faith, you cannot please God, and faith is going to take some risks. Sometimes people really blew it on the way to taking risks, and you've got to learn how to deal with it. Isn't that true?

So we don't want to be perfectionists, nor do we want to have a spirit of perfectionism, a critical spirit, that the moment people have made a mistake, they seize on it, pounce on it, and implicit in it is a judgement against the person: YOU are unacceptable, because you failed. That implies: I don't fail. The reality is: all fail, it's just their one was visible, and we all saw it, yours wasn't - but God saw it, and it's still very real. So when we learn how to handle failure properly, we can come into a place of understanding the grace of God. The grace of God abounds where there's failure. Where sin abounds, failure abounds, grace even more abounds. So one thing's absolutely certain, if I find someone in a huge mess, and there's huge failures all round their life, the grace of God is far more abundant, and it's able to come in and shift them out of it, but they've got to handle the failure right. You and I can help people handle their failures, or we can actually keep them locked in their failure. We can take the side of Jesus Christ, who came to provide an answer for failures; or we can take the side of the devil, and be his advocate, and speak accusations against failures. There's no middle ground.