I remember the day when I discovered I was totally okay with my own failure. After three days of trying to make a piece of Masonite look like a piece of maple, I’d run out of ideas. I’d completed hundreds of wood samples that looked great, so I was shocked with myself when I realized I just could not do this one. I had to admit failure and the result was surprisingly wonderful! In that moment I was totally set free. I did fail and I was actually happy for myself. Odd, yes, and yet this was a deliverance for me! I was very prideful growing up. Failure was never an option. I was good at about anything I did and I avoided any activity I wasn’t good at.
Though I’d accepted Jesus as my Lord and confessed my sins, pride kept popping up in other categories. It’s funny how God can use the most mundane things in our lives to show us the most important spiritual things we will ever know. This experience with the wood sample was one of those things.
I’m sure many of you have experienced similar awakenings. We go along in our regular life, no real “Las Vegas” moments to speak of, no bells and whistles, just plodding along and all of a sudden we’re doing something we normally do, and God opens an amazing realization about a very big thing in our lives that we never expected.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that if we are faithful to seek God and read His life manual, the Bible, He is faithful to us, to reward us with revelations, insights, and deliverances that we not only wanted but some we didn’t even know we wanted! Someone said, “God can make taking out the garbage the most exciting thing you’ve ever experienced.” I‘ve found this to be absolutely true.
The key on our part is to be faithful to Him. Jesus tells us a parable in Matthew 25 about a man going to a far country who gives his goods to his servants to take care for while he was away.
“And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several [own] ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
“And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
“After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
“And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
“He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
“Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant” (Matt. 25:15-24).
The servant that received one talent was afraid of failure. He didn’t take a chance, didn’t risk anything, didn’t step out in faith to gain anything more. He buried what he had. He reminds me of Christians who stop reading the Bible, stop praying, stop exploring and questing after more of the Lord’s intimacy in their lives. They bury their desire for Him or get sidetracked by fear.
In the above parable, the two servants who were faithful to do more with what they had, were the ones who were brave enough to step out. And look what the Lord told them: “Enter into the joy of thy Lord.”
As Christians, we are still human and we are going to fail sometimes. But failure isn’t a crime. “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one’” (Rom. 3:10).
We were failures when we came to Jesus the first time and admitted we weren’t very good at being our own Lord. Don’t be afraid of being a failure at something.
But let’s try not to fail at faithfulness. We must pick ourselves up when we fall and continue to seek the Lord’s guidance. Let’s be like David, who said to God: “Unto thee lift I up mine eyes” (Ps. 123:1).
Humility is a sweet smell to our God. And pride is a stinker. Shut it down by going back to the scriptures with a humble heart for truth.
God is faithful to us. “Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deut. 7:9).
In the New Testament, the Lord promises: “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
Other teachings and true-life stories I’ve written to help you live the Bible way: